The US House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at guarding U.S. ports from cyberattacks.
H.R. 3101, the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act of 2017, would improve information sharing and cooperation in addressing cybersecurity risks at our nation’s ports through several measures: setting standards for reporting, providing guidance to ports, bringing port representatives to the table for future planning, and modernizing how the Coast Guard addresses cyber threats. Torres introduced the legislation following the NotPetya worm attack, which shutdown the biggest terminal at the port of Los Angeles. According to the National Retail Federation, a longer shutdown of two weeks for the entire LA/Long Beach port complex could mean upwards of $50 billion in reduced economic output and impact 500,000 jobs.
“I am pleased that the House of Representatives took swift action and passed my legislation, the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act,” said Torres. “The June cyber-attack that impacted the Port of Los Angeles revealed serious vulnerabilities in our maritime security, and we must address these weaknesses before it is too late.”
“There is unfortunately little coordination between port landlords and tenants in addressing cyber threats, and federal agencies have only recently started to consider the impact that a cyber-attack could pose to our maritime infrastructure. In addition, port operators do not have the necessary support from the federal government for reporting threats. This legislation will ensure the necessary planning and coordination is in place to protect US ports which move more than $1.3 trillion in cargo every day. Disruptions mean higher prices and slower service for every American,” Torres added.
The legislation was introduced by Rep. Torres in the days following the attack on the Port of Los Angeles on June 28, 2017 and voted favorably out of the Homeland Security Committee on September 7, 2017. The legislation is supported by the Port of Los Angeles, Congressional PORTS Caucus Chairs, and it is endorsed by the Maritime & Port Information Sharing & Analysis Organization. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where Torres has been actively working with Senate colleagues to ensure a quick passage into law.