Seaports Magazine - Winter 2013 - (Page 29)

» GUEST VIEWPOINT Cybersecurity a Growing Threat to Maritime Security By Capt. Andrew Tucci U.S. Coast Guard A merican ports and the U.S. Coast Guard have a long history. Alexander Hamilton's proposal that "a few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws" led to the formation of what we now know as the U.S. Coast Guard. From that point forward, American ports and the U.S. Coast Guard have been partners in meeting the safety, security, and environmental challenges of our port communities, all while facilitating the billions of dollars in trade that drives our economy. Port authorities, vessel and terminal operators, and port workers should be proud of the hard work they have done to improve security across America's marine transportation system. Coast Guard inspections consistently show a high rate of compliance with Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and other port regulations. Equally important, professionals from all across the waterfront volunteer their time and expertise at Area Maritime Security Committees and other forums intended to identify risk, advise the Captain of the Port, and improve port safety and security. The results of this cooperation are clear: Fires, explosions, pollution incidents, cargo theft and security incidents are all a fraction of what they were in the past. American ports are a secure place to do business and a safe place to work, and they contribute to the quality of life for their communities well beyond their direct economic impact. Despite those accomplishments, American ports now face the rapidly growing challenge of cybersecurity. While this topic is much discussed, we must not make the mistake of assuming that it is all A wide range of adversaries, from simple hackers to organized crime and state actors, routinely seek to exploit cyber vulnerabilities in America's infrastructure, including those related to port and marine industry. hype. A wide range of adversaries, from simple hackers to organized crime and state actors, routinely seek to exploit cyber vulnerabilities in America's infrastructure, including those related to port and marine industry. They frequently succeed. The potential consequences of these attacks are significant. While the marine industry is not as high-tech as some components of the economy, cyber-based systems are found in navigation, cargo handling, industrial control, information, communication, fire and safety, and virtually every other aspect of the marine transportation system. In most cases, cyber attacks do not damage these systems directly but use unauthorized access for competitive advantage, to facilitate illegal activities or to simply cause a disruption. These unobtrusive cyber intrusions also provide attackers with the knowledge of how to control, disable or damage systems at a time of their own choosing. Moreover, once organizations begin to map their networks and assess their risks, they frequently identify previously unknown connections and vulnerabilities. In short, both the threat and the vulnerability are greater than is commonly understood. Adding to this risk is the fact that our current security regulations are focused on addressing conventional risks through physical security measures, and they are not well suited to address cyber threats. In some cases, such as computer-controlled cameras, sensors and communications, the security systems themselves may be a source of cyber vulnerability. To help industry address this threat, the Department of Homeland Security provides a number of no-cost cybersecurity resources, including training (www. and an assessment tool, best practices, and other information at I also encourage port, vessel and facility operators to join the Coast Guard's Homeport cybersecurity community to receive regular updates on cybersecurity issues. Go to, click on "Maritime Security" under the "Missions" tab. Finally, the Coast Guard is working with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to meet the requirements of the president's cybersecurity Executive Order. This will include a voluntary framework of best practices for the industry. American ports are known for their innovation and long record of success in meeting challenges. I am grateful for that dedication and patriotism, and I am confident that together we can incorporate cybersecurity into this system and  continue to ensure that America's ports remain a safe, secure and efficient place to do business and serve the needs of the country. ● WINTER 2013 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Winter 2013

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Securing Seaport Cyberspace
Ces Operators Work in Partnership With Port Communities
Radar Technology Opens Up for All Ports
Mccs Keep Ports Running in Case of Emergency
Seaport Industry Gathers in Central Florida for Aapa Annual Convention
Forging His Own Path
All States Depend on Maritime Trade Growth
Maritime Security: 10 Years of Partnerships
Cybersecurity a Growing Threat to Maritime Security
Port Metro Vancouver Announces Funding for Security Expansion
Jamaica-U.n. Sign Mou to Improve Port Security
Integrated Management System Addresses Security at Bahia Blanca
Coastal Trident Training Program Tests Hueneme’s Preparedness
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Winter 2013