Biden Administration, U.S. Ports Prepare for Cyberattacks as Nationwide Infrastructure Is Targeted

In a collective conference call on Wednesday, a senior cybersecurity official from the Biden administration urged the nation’s ports to prioritize data encryption, promptly address any vulnerabilities in critical systems, and ensure the presence of a proficient cyber team. This call to action comes amidst a surge in cyberattacks targeting vital U.S. infrastructure.

According to NBC, Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, cited President Biden’s signing in February of an executive order to strengthen the cybersecurity of U.S. ports. The nation’s port system is the main point of entry for trade, employs 31 million people, and generates over $5.4 trillion for the U.S. economy.

“More needs to be done across the ports, and supply chain,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka, who has been fighting for years for a robust federal cybersecurity plan. “The executive order has elevated the discussion.”

The first seaport in the United States to establish a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC) in 2014, the Port of Los Angeles, according to Seroka, fought the highest number of recorded cyberattacks against the port in 2023, with the CSOC stopping 750 million cyber intrusion attempts.

In a 2023 report, the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration warned that U.S. ports are vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the multiple stakeholders involved in the operation of the port, with risks identified related to facility access, terminal headquarters, operational technology systems such as communication systems and cargo handling equipment, positioning, navigation, and timing services, which would impact vessel movements and complex logistics systems at port facilities, and sharing between ships and ports of network connections and USB storage devices, among other technology.

Read More

Discover more from American Infrastructure

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading