Friday, October 23, 2015

POLB Official Addresses Congressional Committee

By Mark Edward Nero

Federal officials should forge a comprehensive strategy to defend the nation’s ports from cyber attacks, Port of Long Beach Security Services Director Randy Parsons told a US House of Representatives committee in testimony earlier this month.

Parsons, appearing before the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee, said the maritime sector must adapt to a new threat environment that could include cyber events impacting key cogs in the nation’s economy.

“Protecting US ports must be a core capability of our nation,” Parsons said. “Focusing on the development of strategic policies and guidelines is sorely needed. A roadmap that provides guidance but flexibility for industry decisions makes sense and will strengthen our national cyber security posture.”

The Port of Long Beach, the second busiest container port in the US, participated in the hearing as part of October’s National Cyber Security Month. The hearing, titled “Protecting Maritime Facilities in the 21st Century: Are Our Nation’s Ports At Risk For A Cyber Attack?,” was streamed live online on Oct. 8. Also testifying during the 90-minute hearing were officials from the US Coast Guard, the US Government Accountability Office and the ports of Brownsville and Harlingen, located in Texas.

Video of the hearing is archived at