Coast Guard Warns Of Cyber Threats

The Coast Guard said two recent developments have led it to warn maritime stakeholders to be on heightened alert for cyber threats.

One was a cyber attack affecting port operations at container terminals in several South African ports that use a terminal operating system also commonly used in the U.S. The second is a leaked cache of Iranian documents detailing how cyber attacks can be used to target critical infrastructure.

The Coast Guard urges vessel and facility operators to review all controls protecting operation technology, monitor networks for signs of unusual activity and to review plans for incident response and business continuity in case of disruption.

Vessel Security Plan

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

The Coast Guard also recently reminded operators of all vessels regulated under the Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 that cybersecurity must be considered when conducting a vessel’s Vessel Security Plan. Any vulnerabilities identified must be addressed by December 31, according to CVC-WI-027 (2), which was revised in February. For AWO members, a requirement to assess cybersecurity vulnerabilities was added to the AWO Alternative Security Program in 2019.

The AWO urged its members to make use of the publication “Cyber Risk Management Best Practices for the Towing Industry.”