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US ports and infrastructure providers come together on cyber security

A group of US ports and infrastructure organisations have come together to share information on cyber security under the umbrella of The Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (MTS-ISAC).

The board members for the ISAC include the Alabama State Port Authority, Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Port Fourchon), Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport), Port of New Orleans, Port of San Diego, Port Vancouver USA, and six other maritime critical infrastructure stakeholders.

David Cordell, cio for the Port of New Orleans, offers, “By correlating cybersecurity information across MTS critical stakeholders, the ISAC provides all of us with the early warning needed to protect our individual organizations from incidents. We see value from our participation in the MTS-ISAC that we could not obtain elsewhere.”

Christy Coffey, MTS-ISAC vp of operations, said: “Response to the MTS-ISAC has been phenomenal. Strong leadership from our board and executive team, early adopter sharing of suspicious and malicious activity targeting their organizations, and quality partnerships have led to an extraordinarily successful launch.”

The Department of Homeland Security recognises the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) as one of the seven critical subsectors within the Transportation System Sector. The American Association of Port Authorities believes the MTS is worthy of cybersecurity protection.

The MTS-ISAC serves as a centralised point of coordination between the private and public sector to share timely and actionable cyber threat information between trusted stakeholders. Information sharing and analysis efforts focus on threats to both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems that stakeholders can use to prevent and/or minimize potential cyber incidents.  

The MTS-ISAC’s services assist MTS critical infrastructure stakeholders with understanding and addressing cyber risk areas that are outlined in the 2021 IMO requirements and the recently released US Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-20, “Guidelines for Addressing Cyber Risks at Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) Regulated Facilities”.