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MTS-ISAC Second Quarter Records All-Time High Information Shares

Contributions Boosted by New Information Exchange Communities

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, U.S., August 2, 2021 / -- The Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MTS-ISAC), formed by an international group of maritime critical infrastructure stakeholders, recorded their most productive quarter since inception. Second quarter highlights include: an increase in cybersecurity information shares from MTS stakeholders; the transition to Cyware, a threat information sharing platform; the launch of a fourth Information Exchange community, the Northeast Florida Maritime Information Exchange (NEFL-MIX), with the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT); a multitude of collaborative activities to improve awareness, understanding and cyber resiliency between public and private sector stakeholders; participation in the development of industry cybersecurity guidelines and recommended best practices; and a new partnership with The Norwegian Maritime Cyber Resilience Center (NORMA Cyber), a joint effort between Den Norske Krigsforsikring for Skib (DNK) and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

Across the first six months of 2021, reporting to the MTS-ISAC of malicious activity targeting stakeholders increased more than 30 percent. Similar to trends being experienced across multiple critical infrastructure sectors, attacks related to ransomware and credential harvesting are commonplace for MTS stakeholders. Furthermore, recent supply chain ransomware attacks have demonstrated the ability for an adversary to compromise one organization and pivot to subsequently attempt comprises of other partners within a trusted community ecosystem.

“Since inception, the MTS-ISAC’s approach to cybersecurity resilience has been to address supply chain risk head-on. We launched our first three Information Exchanges, the Port of New Orleans’ Lower Mississippi River Information Exchange, the Houston Ship Channel Security District’s Southeast Texas Maritime Security Collaboration Group, and the Port New York and New Jersey Security Information Exchange sponsored by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in the first quarter. Across the second quarter, we saw these new communities find their footing. Their information share contributions led to the MTS-ISAC recording our most productive quarter yet, with intelligence production at an all-time high and 27 AMBER and GREEN cybersecurity intelligence advisories issued to help protect MTS stakeholders”, offered Christy Coffey, the MTS-ISAC's VP of Operations.

Other notable accomplishments include:

• The launch of a new Information Exchange.

• Supported webinars: “Developing & Implementing a Cybersecurity Roadmap“, “Preparing for Ransomware” with MAD Security and Peregrine Technology Solutions, “How to Navigate Operational Technology (OT) Cybersecurity in Port Environments” with Industrial Defender for AAPA, and “Review of the 2021 Verizon DBIR” with Verizon.

• Collaboration opportunities for MTS stakeholders in the second quarter included; a quarterly O365 working group meeting; “open calls” which brought together stakeholders for informal, virtual information sharing; and an inaugural “Analyst Intel Round-up” that provided a venue to discuss threat activity trends observed in the MTS.

• Continued work with the National Council of ISACs to improve cross-sector sharing and to help inform government stakeholders of the collaboration role that ISACs play regarding critical infrastructure protection efforts.

• And, finally, the MTS-ISAC and NORMA Cyber agreement to exchange information has provided the ability for our security operations centers to collaborate more directly on areas regarding cybersecurity threat intelligence, research, and educational activities.

All of these activities highlight the public-private information sharing efforts that maritime stakeholders are engaging in. These grass-root efforts are paying dividends in improved situational awareness of cyber threat activity and best practices for improving resiliency of organizations and their systems and networks. The maritime supply chain becomes stronger as a result, which helps support the resiliency of other critical infrastructure sectors which rely upon the MTS.

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