MMS provides various shipping services, including ship management, crew management, safety management, and maintenance, to both domestic and overseas vessel owners. Established in 1974 as the Marine and Engineering Department of Meiji Shipping Co., Ltd., MMS has developed a reputation for high-quality service, experience, and know-how that lead to success for its clients. Today, the company manages approximately 50 ships, including tankers, LPG carriers, and bulk carriers.
According to Toshihide Hamamatsu, Manager of MMS, “Cost-effectiveness, usability, and security are key requirements for IT systems in this business. Industries like ours are often targets of cyberattacks, and if our information leaked, it would damage the reputation that we have been striving to build. Moreover, it would cause trouble for our clients. That is why it’s crucial to tightly defend our systems.”
MMS migrated its IT infrastructure to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to reduce both IT system management costs and total cost of ownership. This means that Azure now hosts both mission-critical ship management systems and applications used to manage the company’s day-to-day operations, such as accounting and workflow.
MMS secures communication between its branches and Azure with a dedicated line, and entrusts Intelligence Business Solutions, Ltd. (IBS) with the planning, implementation, and operation of the system. IBS, in turn, recommended adopting Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ as a Service (DSaaS) to ensure the security of their solution, a decision they made based on their deep experience in managing business application packages on Azure.
MMS adopted DSaaS on top of the Azure solution because of pressing concerns around security literacy. “The ships that we manage stop at ports around the world, the crews on those ships are multinational, and our clients are global companies. Given that, we cannot expect high security knowledge from all the people who use our systems, and that increases our risk of intrusion,” said Hamamatsu. “So it’s necessary for us to prepare for possible intrusions, and DSaaS helps with that,” he added.
DSaaS provides agile detection and response, which reduces worries about security breaches in important servers, minimizes the burden of security operations and enables safe ship management. According to Hamamatsu, “DSaaS provides the functionality that we require—including anti-malware, intrusion detection, file integrity monitoring, and log inspection—all in a single solution, which is a huge advantage. And since it does not require a dedicated management server to monitor security, It matches our operation model which provided by IBS.”
Business & Administration Group, MMS Co., Ltd.
IBS has established an incident response system and manages IT security for MMS using DSaaS management features.
As Yukihisa Iwasaki of IBS explains, “DSaaS plays a key roll in our threat detection flow. It detects intrusions or abnormal security events from logs and alerts us, and we advise MMS as necessary. In this way, we are able to respond effectively to threats.”
Hamamatsu reports that MMS has found its DSaaS security implementation on Azure to be highly effective.
“We are not security experts, and we did not know how to read the log in detail,” Hamamatsu said. “Thus, even when the security appliance that we used before showed us something that could be a cyberattack, we were never sure if we really knew what was happening in the system, or if we were responding correctly to threats. Thanks to DSaaS and support from IBS, we no longer have those concerns.”
With the success of the initial DSaaS implementation, MMS is focusing on enhancing mobile and email security. To augment the protection DSaaS provides for Azure as a mobile access point, MMS is considering Trend Micro mobile device management. The company is also assessing Trend Micro solutions for Microsoft Office 365 email security.
“Safety comes first for MMS, whether we’re talking about ship management, or the systems that support our business. Since the things that can be done by MMS IT staff are limited, it’s essential for us to be able to rely upon experts like Trend Micro and excellent tools like DSaaS. I trust them to make our business operations safer,” Hamamatsu concludes