Shannon Vaughn, general manager of Virtru Federal, and Ben Minichino, president of Pole Star Defense, said encrypting location data streams, vessel ID and other information could help mitigate maritime piracy threats.
“By encrypting the data and making it accessible only to authorized officials, ships can securely transmit information pertaining to their locations, identities, cargo, and more,” Vaughn and Minichino wrote in an opinion piece published Wednesday on The Maritime Executive.
“This information can therefore be kept from potential attackers, allowing ships, crew, and cargo to navigate risky waters safely without having to turn off their tracking devices,” they added.
They discussed the use of Automatic Identification Systems by ships to transmit information and how AIS transmitted through open frequencies could serve as homing beacons for sea pirates.
Minichino and Vaughn talked about a protective “wrapper” and how this capability encrypts the data to ensure the security of sensitive identity and location information being transmitted.
“By placing a security wrapper around the data, crews can leave their communications open and remain secure in the knowledge that their information is being protected, regardless of how it’s transmitted,” they noted.