Port of Los Angeles and IBM to create cyber resilience centre

Port of Los Angeles and IBM to create cyber resilience centre
The Port of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Board of Harbour Commissioners has approved an agreement with IBM to design and operate a Port Cyber Resilience Centre (CRC) at the Port of Los Angeles, in an effort to improve cyber security.

Focused on detecting and protecting against malicious cyber incidents potentially impacting cargo flow, this system is also expected to improve the quality, quantity and speed of cyber information sharing within the port community.

Gene Seroka, port executive director, said: “As our port increasingly relies on data integration to guide its cargo operations and processes, detection and protection against cyber incidents is critical.

“This new CRC will not only provide the port an early warning system against port-wide cyber attacks, but result in greater collective knowledge and data sharing throughout our entire port supply chain ecosystem.”

The US$6.8m, three-year agreement with IBM includes hardware, software and services to design, install, operate and maintain the CRC.

Wendi Whitmore, vice president, IBM Security X-Force, stated: “Now more than ever, there’s a critical need for global supply chains to operate securely and undisrupted.”

Currently, companies and stakeholders at the port monitor and respond to cyber threats individually.

While allowing stakeholder control over their own information and security protocols, the CRC will serve as a “system of systems” and focal point across all participating supply chain stakeholders for cyber threats to the port ecosystem.

The CRC will enable participants—such as tenants and cargo handlers—to quickly share threat indicators with each other and better coordinate defensive responses as needed.

The centre will also serve as an information resource that stakeholders may use to help restore operations following an attack.

Thomas Gazsi, deputy executive director/chief of public safety and emergency management, said: “Collaborative cyber-threat information sharing is critical to the safety and security of our port.

“The CRC is an innovative solution that will put the Port of Los Angeles at the forefront of maritime cybersecurity initiatives.”

The port established a cyber security operations centre in 2014, operated by a dedicated cybersecurity team. It is currently serving as a specialised location to monitor the port’s technology environment to prevent and detect cyber incidents.