Cybersecurity on the high seas, a growing threat to the superyacht industry

Last week, several national newspapers released an exposé on a growing threat facing the super yachting industry: hacking. One article states the apparent ease cyber-criminals had in taking over a superyacht, with a hacker mooring up and taking complete control over a multimillion-dollar vessel in a matter of hours.

Yacht owners, just like all other individuals and businesses, are at risk of various types of data being exposed, from financial details to emails and press information. With the prevalence of social media and guests posting their latest ‘selfie’ sipping on Goût de Diamants in Port de Gustavia, it’s not difficult for hackers to find the location of these yachts.

Other industries, such as retail and travel, frequently upgrade their software to deal with the threat of attacks. Super yachts must follow suit, taking steps to ensure each and every element of their craft is digitised in a secure way, meaning better protection against cyber-criminals, fraudsters and hackers. As recent global ransomware attacks have demonstrated, businesses should be on the lookout, more than ever, over how to protect their systems against the growing threat causing billions of pounds worth of damage.

Billions lost each year through poor management

Superyacht owners are often prime targets for hackers and fraudsters due to their luxurious lifestyle and perceived endless assets. But, it’s not only the outside world that can lead to a loss of money for these owners. Money can be leaked internally as well due to poor management, monitoring and handling. Not always the crew’s fault, poor systems and insufficient technology can prevent staff from handling expenses correctly.

Currently, expense management for super yachts is incredibly underserviced, with captains still reliant on manual methods of data entry which are prone to human error. Many captains are reliant on outdated systems, such as Excel, to keep track of expenses which can amount to billions each year. These systems do not securely encrypt the data, therefore if a super yacht is hacked fraudsters would have open access to this data. With every other element on these machines fully protected with the latest technology, systems and security for expense management should also be a luxury, time-saving service.

Why have superyachts not updated their expense management systems?

A major block for the digitisation of budget and expense management on board superyachts is the fact that, shockingly, no one has created adequate enough software to beat the simple capabilities of Excel. That’s why Voly created a SaaS application that allows real-time management of expenses offering greater accuracy than ever before.

Voly’s end-to-end encryption adds extra layers of security preventing hackers accessing the system and being able to gain account and financial details. Voly enables the administration of the true cost of running a superyacht accurately and on the move, with a mobile integrated, real-time expenses management tool and secure crew login. The software has the lowest entry level possible, allowing even those with no previous experience in accountancy to use the system immediately and effectively. Voly promotes transparency, time management and accountability in a sector that currently sees millions of owner expenses passing through fragmented and antiquated processes.

To find out more about how Voly is making expense management more efficient for superyacht captains, visit www.voly.co.uk.

Cybersecurity on the high seas, a growing threat to the superyacht industry

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