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Torres Provision to Address Port Cybersecurity Threats Passes Senate, Heads to the President’s Desk to be Signed into Law

October 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) announced that the U.S. Senate passed a provision based on her Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act as part of the five-year reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation is expected to be signed into law by the President this week. Torres introduced the provision following the June 2017 NotPetya worldwide cyberattack that shut down the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. In Southern California, trade and logistics generate more than $200 billion in economic impact each year.


“Last year’s cyberattack was a wake-up call for California and the nation to shore up our maritime security and infrastructure. The closure of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was costly for our local economy and hurt our ability to import and export goods throughout the region,” said Torres. “When our ports are attacked, every businesses feels it—and even more so in the Inland Empire, where the logistics industry has created 23 percent of all new jobs since the Great Recession. Passing my provision into law won’t only protect our national security, it will also protect jobs in our community.”


Torres’ provision will improve information sharing and cooperation in addressing cybersecurity risks at our nation’s ports. Specifically, it requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish guidelines for reporting cybersecurity risks, to develop and implement a maritime cyber security risk model, and to make recommendations on enhancing the sharing of cyber information. It also requires the Commandant of the Coast Guard to direct Area Maritime Security Committees to ensure area maritime security and facility security plans address cybersecurity risks. 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.


Last August, Torres convened a cybersecurity seminar with local leaders and federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and private sector professionals to discuss the latest cyber threats and how to prepare for them. She also participated in a bipartisan Homeland Security Committee field hearing at the Port of Los Angeles titled “Examining Physical Security and Cybersecurity at our Nation’s Ports.”