Asia-based global transport organization takes a unified, preventive approach to cybersecurity, using AI to protect thousands of connected and offline systems.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has deployed BlackBerry Cylance technology across all business units in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas to protect thousands of end-points across its global network. 

ICTSI, a global port operator based in Asia, is leveraging CylancePROTECT to take a preventative approach against existing and future cyber threats – while unifying its end-point protection strategy with one vendor across its entire network.

Nine of the world’s 10 busiest ports are based in Asia, an import and export hub that is a crucial part of the world’s supply chain for many industries such as manufacturing, processing and technology.  Recently, it was reported that a cyber-attack on Asian ports could cost as much as $110 billion, or half the total global loss from natural catastrophes in 2018.  The figure was calculated by simulating the impact of a computer virus carried by ships and which scrambles cargo database records at the ports.

Headquartered and established in 1988 in Manila, Philippines, ICTSI has 32 ports in 18 countries and is responsible for ensuring that gateway ports provide the best service so cargo can move unimpeded. Any delay in ICTSI’s operations, physical or cyber, directly impacts local economies. ICTSI required a solution that was efficient, reliable and easy-to-manage on a large scale, while addressing a variety of complex systems and endpoints.

Sleepless in security

Brian Hibbert, Chief Information Officer at ICTSI said: “Economies never sleep – but neither do hackers. ICTSI helps to ship goods that power economies around the clock – relying on sophisticated technology for the secure planning and dispatching of every container. Every movement must be on time and secure to deliver the level of reliability we promise: 10 million times per year, twenty-four-seven. Cybersecurity is our priority at ICTSI, and why we need equally sophisticated, AI-driven-technology like BlackBerry Cylance to protect our assets.”

The CylancePROTECT solution is deployed by ICTSI across a diverse range of endpoints, from desktops to servers, using AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms to detect, prevent and contain existing and new malware – even when systems are offline.

The company chose CylancePROTECT because it was easy to deploy, consumed minimal resources on systems and consistently detected malware and threats that other anti-virus (AV) solutions missed.  ICTSI is now extending its threat prevention capability by rolling out CylanceOPTICS, pushing all detection and response decisions down to the endpoint, eliminating response latency.

CIO Hibbert added: “With such a diverse portfolio, we found that we had a diverse approach to end-point security.  Some sites were using signature-based AV tools, some were using free solutions. Others were using out-of-date technology.  This was a huge risk to our organization in today’s threat climate – so we applied a single unified approach to endpoint security across our portfolio, delivering significant time, complexity and cost savings for our business.”

ICTSI operates in some of the world’s most remote locations, including Congo and Papua New Guinea.  As CylancePROTECT does not require regular software updates, it is ideal for the most challenging environments where reliable connections are not always available. ICTSI IT leaders based in different parts of the world have also found that uncommon software, even installed by privileged users – is automatically scanned and analyzed by the solution; and when necessary – quarantined until deemed safe.

Mutation and evolution

BlackBerry Cylance has found that malware mutates daily, even hourly, making signature-based prevention tools obsolete. In mission-critical industries such as shipping and ports, with legacy systems and connected networks and devices, organizations must think beyond traditional antivirus.

Together with channel partner NEXUS Technologies, BlackBerry was able to help ICTSI move successfully from a traditional antivirus model to an AI-driven, preventative approach to threat mitigation with CylancePROTECT – ensuring the company is prepared for the next generation of threats.

Lionel Ting, Vice President for Business Development, Nexus Technologies, says, “Vital industries like ports and maritime play a significant role in global economies – but this unfortunately also makes them a target for cybercriminals.  As a leading enterprise reseller in the Philippines, we recognize the need for customers like ICTSI to embrace new technologies like AI and ML to mitigate risk and increase cyber-resiliency in a threat-rich environment. We are proud to partner with BlackBerry Cylance to deliver trusted, next-generation security for ICTSI along with rapid-response support, helping to protect systems so that they can focus on delivering efficient and secure services.” 

CylancePROTECT protects endpoints and organizations from compromise by combining the power of AI to block malware infections with additional security controls that safeguard against script-based, file-less memory, and external device-based attacks. CylancePROTECT uses ML, not signatures, to identify and block known and unknown malware from running on endpoints. The software delivers prevention against common and unknown (zero-day) threats without an internet connection. It continuously protects an endpoint without disrupting the end-user and provides minimal impact on system resources.