Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015 - (Page 51)

» GUEST VIEWPOINT Big, Bad Big Data By April Danos Port Fouchon AAPA IT Committee and Cybersecurity Subcommittee O ne of the hottest topics in the information technology world, which has crossed over into the mainstream of public debate in the last few years, has been the concept of Big Data. The IT community has been wrestling for years with the idea of which pieces and parts of all the data generated by mobile devices, servers and networks in every aspect of your digital life could be used to compromise your corporate or personal security. Now, thanks to "hacktivists," including WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, the general public and management professionals everywhere now have a heightened sense of fear of Big Data and what happens to and with their personal and corporate data. Like all powerful tools, the threat or use of the Big Data tool comes down to the intent of the person wielding it. "If only she would use her powers for good" is much more than a catchy slogan on a coffee mug in this case. The reality is that Big Data can be harvested and used maliciously to compromise everything from your employees' personal identities to the precise movements of vessels and vehicles in America's ports to the location of shipments of sensitive cargo by land, air and sea. What's worse is that this data can be up for sale to the highest bidder in a web of stereotypical shady characters, such as the Chinese hackers who currently have stolen the personal identity data of millions of current and former US government employees. Conversely, the power of Big Data can, indeed, also be harnessed for doing good. For example, the bits of data generated by vessel tracking AIS systems can be collected into a new system to track the movement of vessels through coastal waters relative to the position of submerged oil and gas pipelines and trigger an alert to vessel operators who Good old fashioned stakeholder engagement and relationship-building between your port, federal sources, law enforcement and your surrounding agency community is absolutely vital to helping you stay as close to a step ahead of the "black hats" as you can. are about to anchor in the vicinity of a pipeline, greatly reducing the risk of pipeline accidents causing injury or death. Today, port security professionals and IT managers at America's ports not only have to consider the usual gamut of physical and cybersecurity threats to port operations, but they must also be cognizant of the billions of bits of Big Data created by the myriad systems, vessels, assets and electronic infrastructure within their entire port-wide areas and whether those bits of data will be used for good or for evil. While this is a dizzying task, there is no reason to believe that the fundamentals of security and IT management aren't still highly effective strategies to identify, reduce and mitigate these new threats. Namely, port IT departments are rolling out systems of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and their associated metrics to measure trends and improve our cybersecurity posture across all ports. By tracking Big Data and sharing information across all ports, AAPA's IT Committee and Cybersecurity Subcommittee have been working with Information Sharing and Analsis Centers (ISACs), as well as communicating weekly updates to Fusion Centers to spot trends and derive measurable indicators relative to the potential threat posed by Big Data sharing. KPIs are specific to each port's objectives, but examples include data feeds from external sources, social media data and information from Fusion Centers on current threats, malicious actors, suspect IP addresses and/ or domains, and suspect servers overseas. In other words, information sharing between trusted agencies and partners to collaboratively compare notes on emergent threats and spot trends can go a long way to helping everyone reduce their risks from these new techniques for attacking cyber infrastructures. Good old fashioned stakeholder engagement and relationship-building between your port, federal sources, law enforcement and your surrounding agency community is absolutely vital to helping you stay as close to a step ahead of the "black hats" as you can. ● April Danos is IT director at Port Fourchon in Louisiana, chair of the AAPA IT Committee and chair of the AAPA Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chair. FALL 2015 * WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM 51 http://WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015

AAPA Headquarters
From the President's Desk
Big Data, Big Possibilities
Greenlight on Green Metrics
An Eye on Data
Trusting Third-Party Data
Data in Latin America
Washington Zeroes in on Port Performance
Improving and Expanding Our Nation's Seaports
Navigating the Waves of Transportation Data
Big, Bad Big Data
Data Strategies to Avoid Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind
Leveraging Regional Freight Data to Improve Port Connectivity and Boost Trade

Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015

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