White House announces new actions to mitigate cybersecurity threats at US ports

The White House on Wednesday announced four new measures aimed at strengthening cybersecurity at U.S. ports as a way to support supply chains.

First, President Biden will sign an executive order that will strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to address maritime cyber threats, Ann Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, announced.

The order would give the Coast Guard the authority to respond to malicious cyber activity by requiring maritime vessels and facilities to strengthen their cybersecurity. Ships and facilities will also be required to report cyber incidents.

Second, the Coast Guard will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish minimum cybersecurity requirements that meet international and industry-recognized standards to best manage cyber threats. The administration also announced it would invest more than $20 billion in U.S. port infrastructure over the next five years.

Additionally, the Coast Guard will strengthen its Maritime Security Directive on Port Safety, which aims to impose cybersecurity requirements on owners and operators of Chinese-made cranes.

Chinese-made cranes make up nearly 80% of the cranes in U.S. ports and may be designed to be controlled, serviced and programmed remotely, according to the Coast Guard.

Mr. Neuberger is scheduled to announce the move Wednesday at a White House event in Virginia, part of the administration’s investment tour of the United States, where officials are touting President Biden’s economic policies. This is part of the

He told reporters that authorities had been working on the executive order for 18 months, and that it was tied to special concerns about Chinese cyber activity and criminal threats.

Asked about penalties for not complying with the new directive, officials said enforcement would be defined after notice of the proposed rulemaking and public comments are received.

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