Biden to sign executive order to thwart cyber attacks at the nation’s ports

President Biden is set to sign an executive order that looks to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to address maritime cyber threats which can cause just as much, if not more, damage than a storm or another physical threat.

The Coast Guard will also issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish minimum cybersecurity requirements that meet international and industry-recognized standards to best manage cyber threats.

“There’s a reason that we not only are issuing cybersecurity minimum requirements for ports, but also putting in place a maritime directive focused on cyber risk management for ship-to-shore cranes manufactured by China.” That was a comment from Anne Neuberger, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies.

Chinese-manufactured ship-to-shore cranes make up the largest share of the global market and account for nearly 80% (nearly 200) of cranes at U.S. ports. By design, these cranes may be controlled, serviced, and programmed from remote locations. These features potentially leave Chinese-manufactured cranes vulnerable to exploitation.

In July last year, one of Japan’s largest ports, the port of Nagoya, fell victim to a cyber attack which caused a massive system failure and disrupted operations at container terminals in the port.

According to Neuberger, the Biden administration has been working on this notice of proposed rulemaking and executive order for the last 18 months. Additionally, she said that while it certainly ties to particular concerns about Chinese cyber activity, they also have concerns regarding criminal activity.

Commercial Carriers Insurance Agency
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