In the face of growing cybersecurity threats to America’s critical infrastructure, U.S. Senators for California have introduced a new legislation to upgrade cyber security at ports.
As explained, the ‘S. 2083 legislation’ would incorporate best practices in cybersecurity policy into the Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard maritime protective missions. Therefore, it would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a model for assessing cybersecurity risk in the maritime sector, as well as guidelines for information sharing with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).
Furthermore, the bill would require the Coast Guard to integrate cybersecurity into its maritime security assessments and plans.
“As our ports increasingly rely on technology to facilitate the movement of goods, they increase their exposure to cyber threats and attacks. Given Alaska’s dependence on maritime shipping, communities across our state stand to be the most effected from potential disruptions at any port in our supply chain,” said Senator Sullivan. “Protecting our maritime cyber infrastructure is vital. This legislation introduced today will help do just that.”
In particular, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the foundation of the Southern California logistics industry and serve as principal gateways to the national freight transportation system – a system that 1/3rd of the state’s economy and jobs are dependent upon, therefore protecting maritime infrastructure from digital threats is vital to the stability of US economy.
The bill represents a bicameral effort and is the companion legislation to H.R. 3101, which was introduced in the aftermath of the worldwide ransomware attack that disabled the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. The House legislation unanimously passed last month.
In late June, operations in the port of Los Angeles’ largest terminal were disrupted after Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk was hit by a major cyber attack. The malware affected 17 of Maersk’s shipping container terminals globally.
“The recent cyber-attack on a major shipping line doing business at the Port of Los Angeles was a call to action,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With the increased digitization of our industry, cybersecurity is a top priority. This legislation is a major step toward addressing cyber security vulnerabilities in the maritime industry.”