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Maritime Experts Define Cyber Security Research Challenges

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By Dr. Joseph DiRenzo III and Fred S. Roberts

In June, the Maritime Cyber Research Summit (MCRS) was held at the Cal Maritime Safety and Security Center. This summit was an intensive focus session on maritime cyber security risks and vulnerabilities.

This summit built upon key challenges presented in March by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) during the Maritime Cyber Security Symposium, which was jointly organized by Rutgers University CCICADA DHS Center of Excellence and American Military University.

Maritime Security

Although the MCRS was initially envisioned to comprise a small group of interested subject matter experts, the response from the maritime community exceeded the expectations of event coordinators. High attendance at this event confirmed that there are considerable strategic concerns in the maritime community relative to operational cyber security issues.

Maritime security by U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard remains vital to maritime security

In a fortuitous combination of events, the USCG released its Cyber Strategy (PDF) one day prior to the event, which was made available to all MCRS participants. This document will guide the service’s efforts in the cyber domain for the next 10 years.

Experts Gather to Develop Research Questions

The purpose of the summit was to address the research challenges put forth by Vice Admiral Chuck Michel during the Maritime Cyber Security Symposium. The admiral challenged the assembled academics, industry, and federal, state, and local attendees to leverage their collective capability to help the USCG rigorously explore research areas and identify research priorities.

Summit attendees were also asked to help develop rigorous research questions to be used in the development of the DHS S&T Office of University Programs Centers of Excellence 2016 work plans.

In addition, these research questions will be implemented by American Military University graduate students. The university has pledged to develop graduate-level independent study courses that focus on these selected areas resulting in a final written report based on students’ findings. These research questions will also be provided to the dean of the Coast Guard Academy to leverage its capability as part of further exploration.

Read the full article at AMU’s In Public Safety blog.

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