An American flag waves at a US port, where a cargo ship is docked beneath a giant crane on a blue sky day. The image symbolizes Made in America, Made in the USA, industry, global economy, pride, strength, power, patriotism, trade, manufacturing, and back to work.

President Joe Biden’s administration is investing $20 billion to provide safe, secure cranes in America in order to keep hackers from spying at U.S. ports. Biden is also giving the U.S. Coast Guard new powers to issue basic cybersecurity requirements for ship-to-shore cranes, manufactured by China, located at U.S. commercial strategic seaports, as this action is considered vital to secure the American maritime infrastructure.

The president signed an executive order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, in addition to actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity, fortify supply chains and strengthen the US’s industrial base, the White House said in a statement.

The investment is part of Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, it added.

Now, the U.S. Coast Guard will have the express authority to respond to malicious cyber activity in the nation’s MTS by requiring vessels and waterfront facilities to mitigate cyber conditions that may endanger the safety of a vessel, facility, or harbor.

The executive order will also institute mandatory reporting of cyber incidents – or active cyber threats – endangering any vessel, harbor, port, or waterfront facility.

Additionally, the Coast Guard will now have the authority to control the movement of vessels that present a known or suspected cyber threat to U.S. maritime infrastructure, and be able to inspect those vessels and facilities that pose a threat to U.S. cybersecurity.

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on cybersecurity in the marine transportation system. Every day malicious cyber actors attempt to gain unauthorized access to MTS control systems and networks throughout the nation.

The proposed rule is considered that will strengthen these digital systems by establishing minimum cybersecurity requirements that meet international and industry-recognized standards to best manage cyber threats.

“America’s prosperity is directly linked to maritime trade and the integrated network of ports, terminals, vessels, waterways, and land-side connections that constitute the Nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS).

“This complex system supports $5.4 trillion worth of economic activity each year, contributes to the employment of more than 31 million Americans, and supports nearly 95% of cargo entering the U.S,” the Biden’s statement reads.  

The administration will invest over $20bln, including through grants, into U.S. port infrastructure over the next 5 years through the President’s investing in America agenda.