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Unlocking Value While Ensuring Security Using SaaS

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Published Aug 17, 2023 10:07 PM by BASS Software

As ships sail the vast oceans, a new wave of innovation has emerged, spearheaded by Software as a Service (SaaS). However, statistics not only highlight the growing significance of Cloud solutions but also the need for robust cybersecurity protection.

In this article, we explore the perspectives on maritime SaaS and cybersecurity from BASS Software, the leading maritime ERP solutions provider.

The Value of SaaS: Empowering Maritime Efficiency and Agility

Wong Nyuk Lan, VP of Service & Support at BASS Software

In the maritime industry—where operational efficiency and flexibility are paramount—SaaS offers a transformative approach to software deployment. By embracing SaaS, organizations can:

  • rapidly scale their operations
  • seamlessly adapt to market demands; and
  • optimize operational costs.

With fleets operating globally in a complex regulatory environment, it’s valuable to track fleet data anytime, anywhere. SaaS gives ship owners and managers an easy and quick view of processes that is data driven. At the click of a button, they can access business critical applications anywhere in the world, and from any device.

This level of accessibility not only empowers remote teams and management but also ensures uninterrupted operations.

Real-time decision-making and collaboration are another asset across all marine segments. Companies can use SaaS to centralize their data and workflows, enabling timely information sharing among teams across different vessels and offices. Crew and office can instantly communicate and work together to plug any compliance, resource, or efficiency gaps.

In terms of operating costs, SaaS can help companies to treat their expenditure as an IT OpEx instead of capital expenditure. BASSnet SaaS, for example, operates under a pay-as-you-go model, eliminating the need for hefty upfront investments.

One of the key benefits lies in the realm of fully managed services. Using SaaS, companies can allocate their resources more effectively, focusing on core business activities. This enables customers to let BASS experts, for example, maintain the software to an optimum level to ensure their Business As Usual.

As maritime rapidly digitises its operations, the importance of SaaS will only grow stronger. There are certainly challenges in adopting Cloud solutions, especially when it comes to security. However, the benefits can outweigh the risks if ship owners and managers employ the right cybersecurity protection measures.

For more on the benefits of the Cloud for maritime, you can read our in-depth article prepared here.

Safeguarding SaaS Solutions for Maritime: A Crucial Imperative

By Jerry Tan, Senior IT Manager at BASS Software

While the benefits of SaaS are undeniable, cybersecurity remains a concern. In the maritime industry, both sensitive data and critical operations are at stake. Breaches can also prove costly.

However, companies can take several steps to mitigate security concerns.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued high level Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management to address cyber risks and safeguard shipping. The Guidelines’ focus on risk management is the right approach for onboard security.

Security at the office is equally important. BASS, for example, ensures the highest level of security for BASSnet at the office by leveraging the time-tested Microsoft Azure remote environment. At this foundational level, reassuring protections are already in place such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Network Security Group (NSG) and data encryption for applicable products.

At the same time, this is not enough for in-depth defence. Companies must employ additional measures to fortify SaaS offerings and ensure vulnerabilities are not exploited:

  • At BASS, network segmentation and protection are implemented to isolate critical components, ensuring that any potential breaches are contained, and the impact is minimized.
  • Endpoint protection also cannot be ignored, as it plays a crucial role in defending against malware and unauthorized access to devices.
  • Cybersecurity is a continuous effort. Regular software updates and operating system patching are needed to address vulnerabilities promptly, ensuring systems remain resilient against emerging threats.
  • Data protection and disaster recovery is essential.
  • Companies must also be vigilant to proactively detect and respond to any potential security incidents and mitigate risks. This makes it important to invest in employee cybersecurity education to reduce vulnerabilities from the human factor.

Managing cyber risks can be a challenge. However, ship owners and managers can rise to this challenge by inculcating a strong security culture throughout their organization. 

The Power of a Cloud-Driven Future

As maritime embraces a digitally empowered future, the choice is clear. Ship owners and managers must leverage the benefits of SaaS to stay agile, adapt to changing market dynamics, and gain a competitive edge in the industry.

Security concerns remain an issue, but they can be dealt with effectively by taking a proactive approach to ensure the integrity and security of SaaS solutions.

Companies can also mitigate risks by employing solutions that provide comprehensive cybersecurity protection.  

Learn more about the benefits of BASSnet SaaS and its cybersecurity protection for your fleet.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.