Written by Lt. Cmdr. Dan Mochen, Office of Port & Facility Compliance
The Coast Guard works with other governmental agencies and private partners to identify best practices and resources for cyber risk management. These key partnerships enhance communication among agencies and regulated entities through the sharing of information and exploring ways to align, leverage and deconflict approaches to enhance cybersecurity protections. This article highlights governmental agencies’ cyber interactions and some of the resources they can provide.
Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 21 and the Transportation Systems Sector
PPD-21 identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors and the executive departments responsible for overseeing security and resilience in each sector. PPD-21 designates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) as co-Sector Specific Agencies (SSAs) for the Transportation Systems Sector (TSS). DHS delegated its co-SSA responsibilities to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. DOT, TSA, and the USCG jointly perform the co-SSA functions through a steering group and co-leadership of Government Coordinating Councils (GCCs). Close coordination among the co-SSA partners ensures unified federal representation for security partners. To the greatest extent possible, cybersecurity efforts are coordinated among the agencies, which encourages unity of effort in cybersecurity initiatives and greater efficiency in evaluating the cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences.
The principal cybersecurity partnership forum within the TSS is the TSA led Transportation Systems Sector Cybersecurity Working Group (TSSCWG), which includes federal and state, local, tribal and territory (SLTT) government representatives as well as industry and private sector stakeholders. The TSSCWG provides a forum for implementing and facilitating national policies, programs, modal outreach, awareness and information sharing. The group meets monthly and publishes a weekly newsletter. To be invited to join the TSSCWG, email your request to CyberSecurity@tsa.dhs.gov.
DHS’s National Risk Management Center (NRMC)
The NRMC is a planning, analysis, and coordination center working to identify and collaboratively address the most significant risks to our nation’s critical infrastructure. The NRMC works in close, integrated partnership with the private sector and other key stakeholders in the critical infrastructure community to analyze, prioritize, and manage risks to National Critical Functions. By understanding what is truly critical, and where key dependencies and interdependencies lie, they can identify pockets of risk that is deemed to be unacceptable for the nation and then work together to enhance security and resilience. This prioritized and functional approach to risk management plays a key role in the implementation of the critical infrastructure protection mission of the recently released National Cyber Strategy. More information on the NRMC can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/publication/national-risk-management-center-fact-sheet.
DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)
The NCCIC is a 24×7 cyber situational awareness, incident response, and management center that is a national nexus of cyber and communication integration for the federal government, intelligence community, and law enforcement. The NCCIC shares information among public and private sector partners to build awareness of cyber vulnerabilities, incidents, and mitigations.
NCCIC offers a wide range of products, services, and partnership and collaboration opportunities, which are offered without a fee to NCCIC stakeholders. Services include information exchange, such as Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) and Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP), a variety of assessments including Risk and Vulnerability, Cyber Hygiene Program, Phishing Campaign, Red Team, and a downloadable Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET). Other services include incident response, cybersecurity training and exercises, public-private partnerships, federal network protection, malware analysis and vulnerability coordination, and interagency coordination.
More information on NCCIC and services can be found on their website: https://www.dhs.gov/national-cybersecurity-and-communications-integration-center#.
DHS Cybersecurity Advisors (CSAs)
CSAs offer assistance to help prepare and protect private sector entities and SLTT governments from cybersecurity threats. CSAs promote cybersecurity preparedness, risk mitigation, and incident response capabilities, working to engage stakeholders through partnership and direct assistance activities. CSA personnel are assigned to 10 regions throughout the U.S., which are aligned with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions.
CSAs can provide a host of cyber services to include on site meetings to discuss cyber preparedness, strategic messaging, working group support, partnership development, cyber assessments, and incident coordination and support. For more information about the CSA program or to inquire about your region’s CSA, email email@example.com.
InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector. InfraGard provides a platform for public-private collaboration with government that expedites the timely exchange of information and promotes mutual learning opportunities. They engage subject matter experts and address threat issues across each of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, with 82 chapters and more than 46,000 members nationwide. Services and benefits include access to InfraGard’s Secure Web Portal, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), peer-to-peer collaboration and information sharing, training and education. More information about the InfraGard program can be found at https://www.infragard.org/.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.