HomeCII/OTThe Biden-Harris Administration Strengthens Cybersecurity in the United States

The Biden-Harris Administration Strengthens Cybersecurity in the United States

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The Biden-Harris Administration’s dedication to enhancing cybersecurity in US ports and the maritime sector has been underscored by the announcement of a comprehensive initiative set to be formalized through an Executive Order on February 22. This initiative is crafted to strengthen cybersecurity in the USA, fortify supply chains, and revitalize domestic manufacturing capacity, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s cybersecurity landscape.

As a crucial component of the nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS), ports in the US play a pivotal role in facilitating over $5.4 trillion in economic activity annually and supporting employment for over 31 million Americans. The administration recognizes the paramount importance of safeguarding these vital assets against evolving cyber threats that could potentially jeopardize national security and economic stability.

Central to the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan is the bolstering of the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to address cybersecurity challenges within the maritime domain. The executive order empowers the US Coast Guard to proactively combat cyber threats by imposing cybersecurity standards to secure port networks and systems. This includes mandatory reporting of cyber incidents that pose a risk to maritime infrastructure, ensuring a swift and coordinated response to potential cyber attacks.

In a proactive measure to mitigate vulnerabilities, the US Coast Guard will issue a Maritime Security Directive focusing on cyber risk management for ship-to-shore cranes manufactured by the People’s Republic of China. This directive will mandate actions to secure cranes and associated IT and OT systems, aligning with the broader objective of enhancing the digital resilience of maritime infrastructure.

Furthermore, the administration is pushing forward regulatory frameworks to enhance cybersecurity in the Marine Transportation System. Through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, minimum cybersecurity requirements will be established to mitigate unauthorized access attempts targeting MTS control systems. These regulatory efforts underscore a commitment to leveraging mechanisms to safeguard critical infrastructure from cyber threats, ensuring the resilience of the nation’s maritime sector.

In tandem with these regulatory initiatives, the administration is making substantial investments in the USA cybersecurity plan, totaling over $20 billion over the next five years. This funding, sourced through initiatives like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to reinvigorate domestic manufacturing capacity for port cranes. PACECO Corp., a subsidiary of Mitsui E&S Co., Ltd (Japan), is poised to spearhead this endeavor, marking a significant move towards onshoring crane production after a gap of three decades.

The announcement of these investments coincides with the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to highlight the impacts of its Investing in America agenda. By prioritizing cybersecurity in USA ports and the maritime sector, the administration underscores its commitment to national security, revitalizing domestic industries, and fortifying supply chains in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Overall, the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive initiative to bolster cybersecurity in US ports and the maritime sector reflects a proactive and strategic approach towards enhancing the nation’s cyber resilience and safeguarding critical infrastructure. With a focus on regulatory frameworks, investments, and partnerships, the administration is paving the way for a more secure and robust cybersecurity landscape in the USA.

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