IBM and Port of Los Angeles agree to launch cyber security initiative

IBM Security have announced a new agreement with the Port of Los Angeles to design and operate a Port Cyber Resilience Centre (CRC)

The Port of Long Beach [Image by Tobias Wahlqvist from Pixabay]

In a new multiyear agreement, and a first-of-its-kind initiative, IBM have announced an agreement with the Port of Los Angeles, US’ busiest container port, to build an open platform for sharing of data surrounding cyber threats and attacks.

The CRC aims to improve the Port’s cybersecurity readiness, as well as enhance threat sharing and collaboration within its supply chain ecosystem. IBM said that it aims to leverage expertise in cloud security and automation to deliver technology that can help port stakeholders detect and protect against malicious cyber incidents.

The $6.8 million, three-year agreement includes IBM Security software and services to design, install, operate and maintain the CRC. The CRC will be a maritime Security Intelligence and Operations Centre (SIOC) to automate threat collaboration and extend its reach beyond traditional maritime stakeholders to port stakeholders that are more broadly involved in cargo flow, such cross-sector companies. Stakeholders should have the opportunity to contribute threat data to the CRC as well as, in turn, benefitting from the accumulated threat intelligence made available to them through it.

The Port of Los Angeles claims the collaboration will provide the CRC with cutting edge security technologies, and expert services support, including threat intelligence, automated workflows, orchestrated responses and SIOC dedicated services and support. IBM claim the CRC will also serve as an information resource that stakeholders may use to help restore operations following an attack.

Shipping has been hit by a spate of cyber incidents in the last four years that have crippled key services for short periods of time and threatened large volumes of sensitive data.

At present, the Port of Los Angeles is in the midst of an infrastructure investment program aiming to enhance cargo efficiency and use new technologies to assist with digital information flow throughout the supply chain. With cyber threats emerging as reality for all industries, the Port claims to be taking proactive steps to enhance its ecosystem's awareness and readiness to respond to cyber threats that could disrupt the flow of cargo.

"The Cyber Resilience Centre will provide a cutting-edge early warning system to further defend the Port and its stakeholders against cyber threats," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "This will result in greater collective knowledge, enhanced data sharing throughout our Port ecosystem, and will help to maintain the flow of critical cargo."

"A supply chain is only as strong as its most vulnerable entity. The CRC will help each participating member of the supply chain to better protect themselves, and by extension each other," said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President, IBM Security X-Force. "In the face of a cyberattack, every second counts and with the threat detection, threat sharing, and automation capabilities that IBM can bring to this project, we're uniquely positioned to build the tools that can help provide the speed and efficiency stakeholders demand."

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