Cynalytica Inc. announced it has upgraded its SerialGuard® AnalytICS Platform to support deep packet inspection (DPI) and intrusion detection for NMEA legacy protocols. With its latest extension, NMEA-specific packet evaluations, analysis, and intrusion detection capabilities are provided to vulnerable maritime Industrial Control Systems (ICSs).

Richard Robinson, CEO of Cynalytica, said, “In addition to the serious threats posed to their OT network, one of the maritime industry’s biggest security challenges today is the protection of their navigation and communications systems from persistent cyber threats. Vessels are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that can cause GPS interference and spoofing, AIS spoofing, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and other communications jamming which can have catastrophic kinetic consequences

He continued, “Distressingly, many of these navigation and communication instruments rely on NMEA 0183 serial protocols, which do not have authentication, encryption, or validation capabilities. They also lack a sufficient level of real-time visibility and data validation capabilities that would help detect such attacks. These security limitations make the NMEA-connected devices exceptionally susceptible to hackers, and the consequences could prove adverse.”

Through the SerialGuard® AnalytICS Platform, maritime companies are now able to protect NMEA-connected instruments and serial-connected control systems at the same time. This enhanced capability will provide maritime operators with unprecedented visibility into NMEA-connected devices as well as the capability to baseline communications, monitor behavior patterns, and create alert rulesets for detecting cyber-attacks and misconfigurations quickly.

This platform provides real-time monitoring and intrusion detection (IDS) for serially connected ICS. It is a fully passive and fail-safe way to protect serial-connected ICS systems. In addition to the SerialGuard® sensor, Cynalytica’s AnalytICS Engine makes use of a monitoring and intrusion detection system, as well as a data validation tool to enable users to baseline normal operations and create alert rulesets to detect anomalies.

SerialGuard® AnalytICS Platform can easily be implemented across the entire maritime industry including naval vessels, passenger ships, container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, ports, and many others.