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Port of LA Launches Cyber Resilience Center

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 24, 2022

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

North America's largest seaport said it is bolstering its cybersecurity readiness and enhancing its threat-sharing and recovery capabilities among supply chain stakeholders with the launch of its new state-of-the-art port community cyber defense solution.

The Port of Los Angeles' Cyber Resilience Center (CRC) was designed through a collaborative process with participating stakeholders and will be operated by International Business Machines (IBM).

“We must take every precaution against potential cyber incidents, particularly those that could threaten or disrupt the flow of cargo,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This new Cyber Resilience Center provides a new level of awareness for our stakeholders by providing enhanced intelligence, better collective knowledge sharing and heightened protection against cyber threats within our supply chain community.”

“The past year has proven the vital role that ports hold to our nation’s critical infrastructure, supply chains and economy, underscoring that it’s paramount we secure this ecosystem,” said Christopher McCurdy, General Manager, IBM Security Services. “The Port of Los Angeles is setting a new industry standard with a first-of-its-kind initiative to increase cyber readiness across the maritime community. With IBM’s cutting-edge technologies in cloud and AI fueling the CRC, we’re able to provide the maritime ecosystem with the threat insights necessary to stay ahead of cyber threats and improve response time.”

Envisioned as a “system of systems,” the CRC enables participating stakeholders to automatically share cyber threat indicators and potential defensive measures with each other. This collaborative approach centralizes threat information for the port’s stakeholders and helps prevent cyber disruption of the supply chain. The platform serves as a hub for the Port to receive, analyze and share information among its stakeholders who handle cargo, such as terminal operators, shipping lines, truck, rail and others, among its cross-sector stakeholders who provide essential support services, and from external intelligence sources. The CRC is also available to participating stakeholders as an advisory resource to assist with recovery.

The first group of approximately 20 participating stakeholders are now using the new system and gaining access to IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence and more groups are expected to join every six months. As part of its operations, the CRC will be conducting tabletop exercises with participating stakeholders and providing them with annual cybersecurity training.

In 2014, the Port of Los Angeles established a Cyber Security Operations Center designed to help protect the port’s internal networks. The newly-designed CRC builds upon that technology infrastructure by improving the quality, quantity and speed of cyber information sharing among port stakeholders and leveraging the CRC’s security model to creating a more inclusive maritime community.

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