Dryad Flags USCG Cybersecurity Push – Rigzone News

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Following an executive order issued in 2024, the U.S. Coast Guard is implementing increased cybersecurity measures for maritime commercial traffic and infrastructure, Dryad Global noted in its latest maritime security threat advisory (MSTA).

“The U.S. government plans to invest over $20 billion in U.S. port infrastructure over the next five years, requiring vessels, facilities, and harbors to mitigate cyber risks, report incidents, and control vessels posing a threat to U.S. maritime infrastructure, with the Department of Homeland Security overseeing cybersecurity,” Dryad said in the MSTA, which was released this week.

“The Coast Guard plans to update maritime security regulations by establishing minimum cybersecurity requirements for U.S.-flagged vessels, outer continental shelf facilities, and facilities subject to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002,” it added.

“To ensure compliance, private operators will be required to modernize their cybersecurity infrastructure to address new and emerging threats,” Dryad went on to state.

In an MSTA published back in April, Dryad flagged an “electronic warfare/interference” alert in the Red Sea. The company noted in that MSTA that electronic warfare can result in “targeting a ship’s navigation systems by misdirecting GPS signals or spoofing Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems, disrupting systems used for positioning and navigation, and infiltrating critical systems on ships”.

In a fact sheet posted on its site on February 21, the White House announced that the Biden-Harris Administration would issue an executive order “to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity, fortify our supply chains and strengthen the United States industrial base”.

“America’s prosperity is directly linked to maritime trade and the integrated network of ports, terminals, vessels, waterways, and land-side connections that constitute the Nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS),” fact sheet stated.

“This complex system supports $5.4 trillion worth of economic activity each year, contributes to the employment of more than 31 million Americans, and supports nearly 95 percent of cargo entering the U.S.,” it added.

“The security of our critical infrastructure remains a national imperative in an increasingly complex threat environment. MTS owners and operators rely on digital systems to enable their operations, to include ship navigation, the movement of cargo, engineering, safety, and security monitoring,” it continued.

“These systems have revolutionized the maritime shipping industry and American supply chains by enhancing the speed and efficiency of moving goods to market, but the increasing digital interconnectedness of our economy and supply chains have also introduced vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could have cascading impacts on America’s ports, the economy, and everyday hard-working Americans,” the fact sheet went on to state.

In a release posted on its site last month, the White House announced that the Biden-Harris Administration released “Version 2” of the National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan, which it said outlines actions the federal government is taking to improve U.S. national cybersecurity posture.  

“This updated roadmap describes 100 high-impact Federal initiatives, each intended to substantively increase our collective digital security and systemic resilience,” it added.

The Biden-⁠Harris Administration released the National Cybersecurity Strategy on March 2, 2023, “to secure the full benefits of a safe and secure digital ecosystem for all Americans,” the White House site notes.

A fact sheet posted on the White House site in May 2021 revealed that the administration launched an “all of government effort” to address a cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

“The recent cyberattack targeting the Colonial Pipeline has triggered a comprehensive federal response focused on securing critical energy supply chains,” that sheet stated.

“The administration is focused on avoiding potential energy supply disruptions to impacted communities, the U.S. military, and other facilities reliant on gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products,” it added.

“The administration is continually assessing the pipeline shutdown’s impact on the U.S. fuel supply, as well as what additional actions are available to mitigate the impact of the pipeline’s shutdown,” it continued.

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