United States port facilities rely as much upon networked computer and control systems as they do upon stevedores to ensure the flow of maritime commerce.
The critical infrastructure gap: U.S. port facilities and cyber vulnerabilities
In a 50-page policy paper just released by the Brookings Institute and authored by Commander Joseph Kramek of the U.S.Coast Guard and a Federal Executive Fellow at the institute, the current state of affairs related to vulnerabilities at our national seaports is discussed and options to shore up cyber security are offered.
In the executive summary, Commander Kramek writes that today’s U.S. port facilities rely as much upon networked computer and control systems as they do upon stevedores to ensure the flow of maritime commerce that the economy, homeland, and national security depend upon. Yet, unlike other sectors of critical infrastructure, little attention has been paid to the networked systems that undergird port operations.
No cybersecurity standards have been promulgated for U.S. ports, nor has the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead federal agency for maritime security, been granted cybersecurity authorities to regulate ports or other areas of maritime critical infrastructure. In the midst of this lacuna of authority is a sobering fact: according to the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) the next terrorist attack on U.S. Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) is just as likely to be a cyber attack as a kinetic attack.
Source: Security Info Watch.