On November 2, 2021, the Office of Port and Facility Compliance (CG-FAC) published the Area Maritime Security Committee 2020 Annual Report.
The Annual Report highlighted challenges, suggestions, accomplishments, and best practices across the 43 Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSCs) in 2020. These included, among others, COVID-19 impacts, cybersecurity, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Homeport 2.0.
Continuing the Coast Guard’s focus on the cyber domain, a large portion of the Annual Report was focused on cybersecurity and related matters. The Annual Report noted “a noticeable lack of cyber expertise among some AMSC’s membership and regulated facility or vessel operators” and that a “copious amount of information on cyber is being shared, but there is a gap in the technical expertise to translate this information into actionable efforts.”
In response, the majority of AMSCs established cyber subcommittees to help understand and address cybersecurity risks. Additionally, Coast Guard Headquarters is developing cyber training for the field, including a Learning Management System-based module, a Stevens Institute course, and combined CG-FAC / Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) / Office of Cyberspace Forces (CG-791) virtual and roadshow workshops.
Nonetheless, despite these efforts and the publication of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-20: Guidelines for Addressing Cyber Risks at MTSA Regulated Facilities, the future expectations in the cyber domain and how they will impact Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)-regulated facilities remains a concern for many in industry and many AMSCs.