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Poseidon Navigation Services has announced the launch of its new cyber security software package ChallengerShield, designed to assist vessel operators in complying with IMO’s upcoming guideline to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in existing safety management systems by 2021.

The software is specifically targeted at managing cyber security on ships’ bridges by improving the safety of file transfers to and from navigational equipment.

Of particular concern to the company are the weekly ENC updates or permit files sent to a ship and commonly transferred from the online computer to the ship’s ECDIS using a USB stick – a potential weak point for cyber security.

ChallengerShield provides a more secure method for transferring files between e-mail and internet enabled PCs and the ECDIS, or other important equipment on the bridge, by locking down a chosen USB stick with a low level file system, and leaving no empty storage space so harmful files cannot be carried, intentionally or unintentionally.

Only a protected USB can then be used with the system, which provides the user with options for common operations such as copying ENC permits or updates. Files also cannot be added to the USB stick outside of the ChallengerShield software environment, to maintain its security.