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Port of LA Enters Agreement with IBM

[ December 17, 2020   //   ]

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. Focused on detecting and protecting against malicious cyber incidents potentially impacting cargo flow, this first-of-its-kind system is also expected to greatly improve the quality, quantity and speed of cyber information sharing within the Port community.

“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.”

“Now more than ever, there’s a critical need for global supply chains to operate securely and undisrupted. We’re honored to partner with the Port of Los Angeles to design and build its Cyber Resilience Center, further strengthening its cyber preparedness,” said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President, IBM Security X-Force. “As the Port of Los Angeles takes these significant steps to strengthen the cyber resilience of its ecosystem, we’re proud it selected IBM’s premier capabilities in threat intelligence, AI and cloud security to help achieve this.”

Currently, companies and stakeholders at the Port monitor and respond to cyber threats individually. While still allowing stakeholder control over their own information and security protocols, the CRC will serve as a “system of systems” and focal point across all participating supply chain stakeholders for cyber threats to the Port of Los Angeles ecosystem. The CRC will enable participants—such as tenants and cargo handlers—to quickly share threat indicators with each other and better coordinate defensive responses as needed. The CRC will also serve as an information resource that stakeholders may use to help restore operations following an attack.

“Collaborative cyber-threat information sharing is critical to the safety and security of our Port,” added 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.”

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 nation’s first Port of Los Angeles Cyber Security Operations Center, operated by a dedicated cybersecurity team. The Center currently serves as a centralized location to proactively monitor the Port’s own technology environment to prevent and detect cyber incidents. Since 2015, the Port has also maintained its ISO 27001 certification for cyber security, the only port to have this certification.

In support of the Port’s Strategic Plan objective of a secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable supply chain, the Center will implement security and public safety strategies that support goods movement and mitigate risk.

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