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Biden strengthens cybersecurity in US ports

Washington, Feb 21 (AFP) Feb 21, 2024
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at strengthening cybersecurity in US ports, particularly given risks associated with Chinese-made cranes.

The order establishes "minimum cybersecurity requirements" and aims to improve the reporting of incidents by ports and port facilities.

"America's ports employ 31 million Americans, contribute $5.4 trillion to our economy, and are the main domestic point of entry for cargo entering the United States," Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, told reporters.

"The continuity of their operations has a clear and direct impact on the success of our country, our economy and our national security," she said.

The federal government is additionally supporting the manufacture of US cranes and is investing $20 billion in port infrastructure over the next five years.

"China-manufactured ship-to-shore cranes make up the largest share of the global market and account for nearly 80 percent of cranes at US ports," said Rear Admiral Jay Vann, commander of the US Coast Guard Cyber Command.

He estimated the number of such Chinese cranes operating in the United States at just over 200, and indicated that 92 percent had already been checked by the Coast Guard for flaws or cybersecurity threats.

"Chinese threats are one key threat that this executive order... will help protect ports against," Neuberger said.


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