With ever-increasing numbers of devices and services becoming network connected, it’s now more important than ever to secure the underlying network onboard a vessel. Ultra Horizon has worked closely with numerous yachts to engineer a suite of products and tools that create high-performance secure networks, capable of operating in the most challenging environments whilst adhering to the strictest specifications.
Secure Remote Access
Remote access to a vessel’s network is required to allow contractors and crew to manage the underlying network infrastructure and onboard systems remotely. As many devices only offer local network access, vessels frequently resort to vulnerable software such as TeamViewer or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which pose as major security risks. These sorts of remote management sessions are regularly either not encrypted, or can be easily compromised to reveal identities, login credentials or even hijacked to mount cyber-attacks.
UH VPN is a secure, fast and easy to use VPN platform which encapsulates and secures the existing remote management traffic, allowing vessels to be protected whilst continuing with their familiar workflows. Full, granular access control is achieved through a powerful yet simple web interface. VPN connections are made through an app which is available to download on all major platforms and can be custom branded to the yacht’s design. UH VPN’s unique one-time code profile distribution system ensures users can be set up on the platform in minutes alleviating the need for complex standard operating procedures.
Many vessels often overlook their upstream Internet connection, inadvertently assuming it’s secure. Unfortunately, many connections such as shore-line fibre, marine Wi-Fi and even carrier 4G networks can be filtered, censored, or are simply unprotected from adversaries that can view or modify any data in transit.
UH Interconnect is a secure high-speed site-to-site VPN allowing yachts to tunnel their Internet connection via a secure data centre, or a location of their choosing. This prevents traffic tapping attacks, with the added benefit of bypassing any Internet restrictions whilst providing a familiar domestic connection from a chosen country. UH Interconnect is built on the same collection of sophisticated cryptographic algorithms as UH VPN, engineered by our development team who are closely tied with the world-renowned University of Bristol Cryptography group. It also incorporates a unique decentralised routing protocol to allow multiple vessels or sites to be linked together at high speed and low latency, enabling secure fleetwide data sharing.
Even with a secure outbound connection, onboard users are still at a constant risk from cyber threats such as malware, botnets and phishing attempts. These attacks aim to infiltrate a network or gather user data. UH Cyber comprises of highly sophisticated threat prevention equipment which actively blocks these threats in real time, regardless of the device or application. This seamlessly integrates into existing networks as it passively scans traffic in a ‘wiretap’ mode, providing unparalleled levels of threat resistance with zero network changes required.
One of the biggest challenges when securing a network is maintaining high performance. Many solutions regularly trade security for performance, leaving owners and crew with reduced connection speeds or invasive restrictions. Worse still, security systems may need to be switched off to achieve the desired speed for particular activities, such as streaming sports events.
All of the solutions that Ultra Horizon offer are designed to provide a secure network with no performance degradation. This is achieved by manufacturing and vending state-of-the-art network hardware that ties seamlessly with our security solutions. Furthermore, our equipment is engineered with redundancy in mind to guard against unexpected failures.
Read this article and many more in the Superyacht Technology Blueprint.