The Port calls upon members to reveal info about cyber attacks and malicious attempts to hamper such efforts and to safeguard data.
The Port of LA is spending millions to set up a framework to ensure intelligence gathering on cyber threats possible thereby and to bring about a strong coordination between public and private sectors in wake of a large number of heinous attempts made on maritime and logistics industries.
Not surprisingly, to the sprawling port, huge shipping lines as well as to suppliers like railroad operators and telecommunication firms, this type of Cyber Resilience Centre will be focal hub to gather and analyze data and to initiate further measures accordingly. Such is considered to be the unique project and implementation planned in US, as the threat is also somewhat primary and unprecedented, who is looked after by Gene Seroka, in the capacity of executive director.
Unable to control agony in the field when he says, “What we’ve noticed over time is that the potential penetrations and cyber threats have grown each and every year.” He referred to some incidents happened in the past such as the 2017 NotPetya attacks, because of which , shipping lines were disrupted and the surge of potential ransomware which overshadowed the normal functions at Port of Long Beach, located nearby just 2 year ago and also made its reach to shipping major CMA CGM SA in October this year.
He played trust in private sector for nurturing the protection, “As this growth [in threats] became so evident, we thought we needed to find a way to bring the private sector into this space as well,”
Clearly, as being the benchmark of industrial progress resulting sheer prosperity, maritime trade has always motivated hackers the most. Talking about Port of LA in particular, it helped building up $276 billion worth of trade just last year, whereas the International Chamber of Shipping maintains $14 trillion as the total value of trade in global shipping last year.
.For the purpose of constructing and equipping such cyber facility with ultra-modern equipment, port authorities have roped in International Business Machines Corp and hopes are high that by the end of next year, facility will be fully and smartly operational. Wendi Whitmore, vice president of IBM Security’s X-Force business, opined that participants to such connected system, will be prompted to disclose information in anonymous way on the platform, and the data will be given an standardized shape by a legion of companies with their respective cybersecurity tools.
While evaluating the high-tech construction, Mr. Whitmore went ahead by emphasizing that Cyber Resilience Centre is intrinsically designed to be the most outstanding one among any of the digital security aspects in place, such as the Info Sharing and Analysis Centre for maritime industry.
She felt a bit down when she said, “A lot of times in an ISAC, you have organizations sharing data, maybe sharing buckets of indicators, and then the receiving organization will have to take that data and then figure out how to make it work within their organization based on the tools they have,”. But later her spirits lit up, “We’re going to actually provide the plumbing to do that in an automated capacity for a wide variety of tools.”
To take control of things, Lance Kaneshiro’s name has been decided upon to be the first Director of the port, who currently controls the seat of Chief Info officer at the port and is therefore, well versed with the surrounding and situations threats emerge in. The centre will function in tandem with the existing cybersecurity operations center, which opened in 2014 at the same seaside.
Private and public sector companies have been more critical about their security now than ever before, who later connect to the port someway and such companies now examine the security covers of their third party vendors now, before stepping inside the port premises. To give way to this point, we can refer to the past months scenario where there were scores of cyberattacks made on prominent vendors which also included software company SolarWinds Corp and FireEye Inc which is also a reputed cybersecurity firm. To our horror, such cyberattacks are said to be successful as data security was breached and files were accessed and crucial info was leaked and so forth. As a result, even the FBI showed keen interest in launching a defensive investigation and to look for ways to harp upon and to strengthen security cover. This is also due to the fact that FireEye Inc serves scores of companies owned by US government and prestigious Fortune 500 companies with widespread activities and so, security breach would have been widespread too.
Talking about the maritime industry cybersecurity, such has been widely discussed upon and US Coast Guard even took up an initiative where cyberattack details were released to stake holders, when any such unpleasant event occurred on the ship which sailed towards the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2019. Further, regulators which also included International Maritime Organization, reformed their guidelines to include risk management on the vessels which highlights cybersecurity too.
Mr Seroka is all filled with hopes, that the such centre will be an example and inspiration to other mega ports across US as well as in other countries and significance of info-sharing can never be undermined when it comes to defend such cyberattacks. Now, as massive technology has transformed the shipping industry and has rendered it to be more connected, ports should be given value in light of frequent cyber threat attempts, such as “how we can set data standards, business rules and open architecture that will allow us to share information and protect it.”