Port of LA to build new $6.8m cyber centre with IBM

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved an agreement with IBM to design and operate a Port Cyber Resilience Center (CRC) at the Port of Los Angeles, focusing on detection and protection of the port infrastructure against malicious cyber incidents.

“As our Port increasingly relies on data integration to guide its cargo operations and processes, detection and protection against cyber incidents is critical,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“This new Cyber Resilience Center 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 $6.8 million, three-year agreement with IBM includes hardware, software and services to design, install, operate and maintain the CRC. The Board recommendation to select IBM was based on a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process conducted by the Port.

In 2014, the Port established the first Port of Los Angeles Cyber Security Operations Center, operated by a dedicated cybersecurity team, which currently serves as a centralised location to proactively monitor the Port’s own technology environment to prevent and detect cyber incidents.

Currently, companies and stakeholders at the Port monitor and respond to cyber threats individually. While still allowing each stakeholder to maintain control over their own information and security protocols, the new CRC will serve as a ‘system of systems’ and a focal point for cyber threats to the entire ecosystem.

Participants, such as tenants and cargo handlers, will be able to quickly share threat indicators with each other through the centre and better coordinate defensive responses as needed, while also having access to an information resource that they can use to help restore operations following an attack.

“Collaborative cyber-threat information sharing is critical to the safety and security of our Port,” said Thomas Gazsi, Deputy Executive Director/Chief of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

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

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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