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Maritime Security: Sneak Preview of the Coast Guard’s Cybersecurity Strategy

By Lt. Jodie Knox
U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Commons – The Coast Guard Blog for Maritime Professionals

Last week, the Coast Guard participated in a maritime cybersecurity learning seminar and symposium with American Military University (AMU) and Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis, (CCICADA), at Rutgers University. The organizers of the event plan to publish a comprehensive book on cybersecurity as an outcome of the symposium. The attendees included participants from government, private sector and academia. CCICADA is the Department of Homeland Security’s University Center of Excellence on cybersecurity.

Maritime cyber security seminar
Vice Adm. Chuck Michel, USCG, addressing the Seminar and Symposium on Maritime Cyber Security

Maritime Commons is providing you with a condensed version of remarks from the symposium. Comments shared in this post are from the Deputy Commandant for Operations, Vice Adm. Charles Michel. In his remarks, Michel provided an early look at the Coast Guard’s Cyber Security Strategy.

Delivered by Vice Adm. Charles Michel

For the first time in decades, the Coast Guard is stepping off into new operating domain. In the early 20th Century it was the aviation domain; today it is the world of cyber. Whatever stakes we put into the ground here are going to reverberate for decades to come.

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing the first public preview of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Strategy. The strategy has not yet been signed but is very near completion and will be the Coast Guard’s first cyber strategy ever. The caveat in my sharing this with you today is that some of this may change as it goes through the final clearance process. I want to hear your comments and criticisms if you have them. The Coast Guard needs your candid feedback because we want to make sure we get the right strategy in place.

The Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA, appoints the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who further delegates to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, the responsibility of preventing transportation security incidents, or TSIs.

Following the events of September 11th, the Coast Guard worked with stakeholders to develop a set of physical security standards for critical maritime infrastructure, to prevent access by terrorists and ensure that restricted areas were protected.

The Coast Guard’s vested interest lies in those cyber areas that could potentially cause a transportation security event, or TSI. The beauty of the MTSA is that it allows for the inclusion of cybersecurity as well. In order to prevent a TSI, we need to collaborate and develop a set of cybersecurity standards to complement our physical security standards.

Probably the most important part of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Strategy is in its key organizing principle: The strategy is all about embracing a policy framework that will allow our enterprise to begin to tackle these challenges.

Read the full article here.

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