John Felker, former Assistant Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency brings significant public-private sector relationship building expertise to the Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s (MTS-ISAC) nonprofit, community focused mission. In addition, as a retired United States Coast Guard Captain, John will leverage his deep experience in the maritime sector and his leadership experience in cybersecurity focused organizations. He served as the Director of the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Integration Center in DHS and as the Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard Cyber Command.

As Senior Advisor, he will focus on strategic efforts to engage maritime stakeholders and their community partners in building active information sharing partnerships. Current efforts by the MTS-ISAC are focusing on tying local and regional cybersecurity efforts with national and international situational awareness. By identifying trends and patterns impacting the broader maritime sector, communities of port stakeholders or specific industry stakeholders, such as cruise lines, within the larger community, can build mutually beneficial cyber resilience efforts.

“Sharing business cards in the midst of an incident is not the way to successfully respond,” stated Felker. “My focus will be to help build upon the strong foundation established by MTS-ISAC founders, the Port Authorities and maritime critical infrastructure Owners and Operators, who have recognized the importance of building strong relationships before an incident. With heavy stakeholder interest not only the United States, but internationally as well, I think that the future is very bright for this organization. It will be critical to maintain that momentum by adding stakeholders that are passionate about sharing cyber threat intelligence information with the MTS community.”

“I am excited to have the privilege of working with John again,” added MTS-ISAC Executive Director, Scott Dickerson. “While a number of advancements have occurred since we worked together forming the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command, there still remains a great deal to accomplish when it comes to the private and public sectors sharing actionable cyber threat intelligence. John can help us with those efforts in a number of ways, and I’m grateful that he will help us advance efforts with stakeholders.”

The MTS-ISAC’s well-timed community information sharing and analysis efforts focus on threats to both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems. The 2021 IMO requirements and the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-20, “Guidelines for Addressing Cyber Risks at Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) Regulated Facilities” are highlighting the importance of cybersecurity to maritime stakeholders. In addition, multiple maritime cybersecurity guidelines on best practices and recommendations have been provided by Class Societies, BIMCO, and industry experts. These guidelines, when combined with improved situational awareness through MTS-ISAC services, provide stakeholders with the information and tools to help prioritize cyber risk management activities that can effectively counter active cyber-attack patterns.