Over 500 cyberattacks affected the marine industry in 2020, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. According to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA), the Columbia Snake River System is responsible for transporting more than 50 million tons of cargo annually.

Responding to the security implications of these attacks for cargo and shipping activities, the Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MTS-ISAC) and the Port of Vancouver USA have founded the Lower Columbia River Maritime Information Exchange (LCR-MIX).

The LCR-MIX aims to enhance communication and collaboration on cyber threat activity among regional stakeholders and provide early situational awareness and best practice adoption to prevent incidents.

“So often the partners and stakeholders within the Lower Columbia River are using the same vendors, service providers and often are working with the same business contacts,” said Chris Carter, Information Security Analyst for the Port of Vancouver USA. “A compromise can have cascading consequences and put the entire supply chain at risk.”

The partnership aims to foster connections between the ports on the Lower Columbia River, hardening the interconnected system against cyberattacks.