A picture of Representative Norma J. Torres
Norma T.
Democrat CA 35

About Rep. Norma
  • Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act of 2015

    by Representative Norma J. Torres

    Posted on 2015-12-16

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    TORRES. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.



    Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3878, the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act.

    Mr. Speaker, I introduced H.R. 3878, the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in [[Page H9354]] Our Ports Act, to ensure the Department of Homeland Security takes a more proactive approach to address cybersecurity risks at our Nation's ports and to improve cybersecurity information sharing and coordination between public and private partners at maritime facilities.

    The United States has approximately 360 commercial sea and river ports which use cyber technology to move over $1 trillion worth of cargo each year. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and other ports in California account for almost 40 percent of the cargo entering this country, and nearly 30 percent of the country's exports leave through California ports.

    The Port of Los Angeles is the number one port by container volume and cargo value in the United States, seeing around $1.2 billion worth of cargo each day. Each year, the Port of Long Beach handles more than 6.8 million 20-foot container units in cargo value at $180 billion and is the second busiest port in the U.S. With so much economic activity happening at our Nation's ports, protecting the cyber networks they rely on is critical to our local and national economy.

    This past October, the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on which I serve held a hearing focused on the threat of cyber attacks at a port and how the Coast Guard is working with private and public partners to protect maritime critical infrastructure against such attacks. This is of particular interest to me because many of the goods that enter through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles come directly to my district where the goods are redistributed throughout the Nation. The hearing was called in response to a June 2014 GAO report recommending the Department of Homeland Security take action to strengthen cybersecurity at our Nation's ports.

    Mr. Speaker, the report found that maritime Sector Coordinating Councils are no longer active. These councils include port owners, operators, and related private industry associations. This means that today there is no one entity that coordinates information sharing between the ports, the private sector, and government stakeholders.

    At the October subcommittee hearing, we received testimony that information sharing on cyber risks at ports should be stronger and that some ports lack the resources to prevent, identify, and respond to cyber attacks. To address these challenges, I introduced H.R. 3878, which will require the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to take several steps to enhance cybersecurity at our ports.

    Specifically, it requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish guidelines for reporting cybersecurity risks, to develop and implement a maritime cybersecurity risk model, and to make recommendations on enhancing the sharing of cyber information. It also requires the Coast Guard to direct Area Maritime Security Committees to address cybersecurity risks. These measures will create an environment where DHS, the Coast Guard, ports, and stakeholders work together to enhance cybersecurity at our Nation's ports.

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman McCaul and Subcommittee Chairwoman Miller for their cooperation and the bipartisan nature of the staff discussions on this bill. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3878.

    I reserve the balance of my time.

    Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from New York (Mr. Donovan).

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