The rapid spread of COVID-19 Globally has tested the IT competency of many superyachts to keep their crew in contact to perform their duties remotely (perhaps more prevalent for Captain’s and other Heads of Department) if they have been stranded, or to ensure communications are adequate for crew who have been locked down onboard. Unfortunately, not all were fully prepared for this rapid shift to remote working and with restrictions easing in many places in Europe both remote and new crew will be joining their yachts in the coming weeks. The need for Captain’s, ETO’s and Engineer’s to respond quickly to these events and ensure the yacht operations continue can leave their yachts and crew exposed to increased cyber risks.

For Superyacht Crew, here are our 5 top tips to keep cyber safe online:

1. Know Your Cyber Risks

You will be relying heavily on your ETO/Engineer/IT support/security team/supplier to do what is necessary to secure your data and your crew in this new paradigm. Weaknesses in your superyacht defences may be more hidden now everyone has been working from home or while yachts have had skeleton crew over the past months.

However, it is recommended to complete a 3rd party cyber security assessment, or audit those defences to make sure you are as safe as you think you are and perhaps also address limitations of your infrastructure that may have been highlighted since the worldwide lockdown. Riela Cyber has developed a ‘Roadmap to ISM Compliance for Cyber security’. It has been highlighted to us when talking to crew within the industry that there isn’t a cybersecurity company currently offering an entry-level product to help crew, management and their owners to start addressing the subject of cyber ahead of the 2021 regulations.

We have listened to the industry and developed a top-level, remote cyber risk assessment. In under an hour’s phone call with one of our cyber engineers, a comprehensive report is provided with a risk posture heat map, overall risk score, as well as explanations and recommendations. At a cost of only £750, the Riela Remote Cyber Risk Assessment provides you and your yacht access to all of this information specific to your vessel. There isn’t a better place to start to help plan and execute your yacht’s own ‘Roadmap to ISM Compliance for Cyber security’.

Further information about the product can be found here.

2. Review Your Cyber Policy

If you have not completed a comprehensive review of your superyacht’s cybersecurity policy in the past 3-months it is highly recommended to do so at the earliest opportunity.

It is advised that they are regularly reviewed and updated, however, based on recent events it would be advisable to complete a thorough review soonest to ensure the policy remains accurate and relevant.

If you don’t have a cyber security policy or it needs assistance from cyber security experts, our cyber engineers can provide the right guidance tailored to you and your superyacht’s infrastructure and circumstances. Twinned with the safety and compliance knowledge within our Riela Yachts team, we’re confident we can deliver the appropriate policies harnessing the expertise and skills within our two Group companies.

3. Check Email Encryption

Directed and socially engineered phishing, known as “spear-phishing“, is much more likely to be directed at you during this time.  Be extra vigilant when communicating and transacting.  Email is especially vulnerable.  Your email service may be secure, but built-in email encryption relies on both sender and receiver to be capable of encryption (it’s called “opportunistic TLS“).  Your email to weaker recipients may be intercepted, your writing style and email signature emulated, and your email domain spoofed.  When communicating authorisation, especially financial, always follow up using a second form of communication (use an encrypted messenger or phone call to confirm critical emails, etc.).

4. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Many companies and online services now ensure you’re required to include a minimum number of different characters and symbols as well as a certain length. However, this is the minimum and as a crew member, you should ensure you protect yourself further by not just adhering to the minimum criteria but always use complex, long phrases or words made up of the required special characters.

Understanding that long and complex passwords are hard to remember. Especially if you follow best practices and never reuse a single password. This is a big ask, especially when you may be required to remember account credentials for 50, 100 or more accounts or protect important documents. Re-using passwords is the easiest way to log in to all these services but it’s also the easiest way of increasing your cyber risk. Fortunately, there are secure and easy-to-use tools which can help store passwords as well as generate new, unique passwords each time you create or must remember a new login. Companies such as LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password are all renowned for providing a secure service, as well as other providers.

5. Provide Adequate Cyber Security Awareness Training

The vast majority of cyber incidents start here. Cyber criminals will be using the outbreak of COVID-19 to ‘phish’ for new opportunities to steal information or gain access to bank accounts or invoices. Make sure your crew have proper training so they can defend themselves and your superyacht from this kind of attack. 

Most importantly, if you’re unsure about anything security-related, check! This list is by no means exhaustive. Use further tools to stay secure and you’re welcome to contact us for more detailed and relevant advice. 

Riela Cyber comprises cyber security experts that can provide guidance, services and support to further protect your yacht from cyber-based risks. If your yacht could benefit from further specialist advice to protect your superyacht please contact us.

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Kurt Schrauwen



Kurt Schrauwen is a Director of the Riela Group of companies which includes Riela Yachts, Riela Cyber and Riela Tech. 

Kurt brings more than 20 years of leadership experience having been an early part of the global success of Microgaming in becoming a market leader. Kurt was responsible for the commercial, contractual, and technical sales for Microgaming and with this experience will complement the company’s growth strategy.

Kurt is passionate about business optimisation and prides himself in having an intrapreneurial outlook to maximise staff potential, reduce inefficiencies as well as identifying and maturing revenue growth opportunities.

Paul Cocker

Service Delivery Coordinator

Paul Cocker joined the Riela Group in late 2021, after spending just under 20 years with his previous employer.

Paul is responsible for the Riela Tech service levels, working on both the dispatch function and SLA management. Paul carries out a variety of duties across the Network Operations Centre and works closely across the wider team to deliver professionally tailored solutions for our Riela Tech clients.


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Murat Guner

Infrastructure Engineer

Murat Guner joined the Riela Group in the Summer of 2021 as an Infrastructure Engineer.

Murat began his career in Turkey as a computer teacher for primary and secondary schools before migrating his skills into IT infrastructure. After honing his IT experiences throughout a colourful career path, Murat gained numerous qualifications which he is now excited to apply to the management of our Riela Tech infrastructure.

Andrew Clucas

Senior Network Engineer

Andy is a qualified Network Engineer with in-depth knowledge of architecting, implementing and supporting networking solutions in the SMB, Enterprise and Service Provider environments.

He has over 20 years of experience working across multiple vendor operating systems, including Cisco, Juniper, Linux and Microsoft, and has also been responsible for implementing a variety of large scale network services deployments, taking projects from design to rollout and support.

Andy also has experience of deploying and migrating a range of virtualisation technologies including VMWare, Hyper-V and KVM based systems.

Marc Dorey

Infrastructure & Managed Services Lead

Marc is our Group’s Infrastructure and Managed Services lead with over 18 years’ experience in delivering infrastructure projects across multiple industry verticals and international jurisdictions.  From projects in Aerospace and Engineering through to Banking and Insurance, from Europe, China, Africa and Australia.

This experience is matched with a varied list of certifications from leading industry vendors such as Hp, Cisco, Microsoft, Ruckus, CompTIA and more.  As a qualified technical trainer Marc is comfortably able to take complicated technical concepts and deliver them in simplistic terms to key decision makers and end users alike.

Most of Marc’s experience has been gained working for managed service providers, both large and niche and as such is able to take real world experience and blend it with industry standards to help align our service delivery with our clients values and processes.

Alexandria halsall

Marketing Executive

As a Marketing Executive, Alex is responsible for all marketing duties spanning the Riela Group.

Alex joined the Riela Group in August 2020, shortly after graduating with a Psychology degree from Nottingham Trent University.

With past work experience in content marketing, event management and web design, Alex is able to apply her creative and analytical skills into the Riela strategy.

Matthew Roberts

Group Head of Sales

As the Head of Group Sales at the Riela family of companies, Matthew leads the company’s sales strategy, execution, and growth.

Matthew has a successful record building trusted client relationship and delivering upon set expectations. An accomplished sales leader, he delivers a sales process that provides clients with the information and support they need to make the right decisions for their organisations and their constituents.

Matthew has significant experience within the maritime industry having previously worked across various sectors including insurance, security, satellite communications and managed IT. Matthew’s most recent experience encompasses almost 5 years spent with the leading satellite communications and managed IT provider in the maritime industry, focusing on their superyacht clientele.

Christian Goelz Riela Cyber

christian goelz


Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before joining us, Christian worked for six years at Argosy Capital, an Isle of Man-based private equity and venture capital business focusing on early-stage growth businesses. At Argosy, he focused on managing investment companies, research and financial analysis and served as a director on several boards.


Riela Group Managing Director

Robert Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible in overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Rob brings over 25 years’ of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step everyday”.

Peter Astell Burt


Peter is an experienced technology consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the IT and cyber security industry.  Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), IT Strategy, Start-ups, Regulations, and Online Gaming. Strong consulting professional with a DPhil focused in Natural Sciences from ChristChurch, Oxford.

Tim Bliss

Tim Bliss


Tim Bliss, Managing Director of Riela Tech since the company foundation in 2015 and Director of Riela Cyber, brings over 20 years’ of successful leadership experience across a range of industries including finance and banking, software development, and manufacturing, as well as cyber security and information technology. Prior to forming the company he led the technology for Manx Financial Group PLC, where he was instrumental in business systems transformation.

“It is our hugely capable team of experts that drives our business – it is fantastic and rewarding to be able to use technology, intelligence, and great customer service to help make our clients’ business and staff progressively more efficient resilient and secure”