It is clear the U.S. Government, after 9/11 had to rethink what port security really meant. It was no longer about drug smugglers and theft, it was now a broad based approach to securing the ports, protecting the people and infrastructure and reducing the likelihood of another attack, whereby preserving global economic activity. As outlined above many areas have been addressed to protect overall port security, maintain strict processes for port facility security and drive technology and cooperation to improve container security.
With all the effort and money spent in these areas there are additional areas that remain vulnerable to either a terrorist attack or labor strife that could still derail the economy. There is more work to be done to continue to improve the security of the economic engine that the ports provide. Cyber security is not only an issue for the world’sports; it remains a challenge to most every individual, company and government around the world. “In the coming year, hackers will launch increasingly sophisticated attacks on everything from critical infrastructure to medical devices” (Taylor, 2015). The growing problem with hackers gaining access and information from the computers of companies is a security risk for our ports and the ships coming into them. Almost everything is communicated through computers, ship manifests, customs clearance, where containers are to be staged, what carrier is expected to pick up those containers and when, along with personnel history.
A breach in the line of communication that either disrupts communication for a period of time or erases or changes information would create a significant disruption to the port. Consider a change in manifest through a cyberattack; a container coul. .se of an emergency remains a challenge that must be met. Ultimately, creating a more secure power grid that would allow other power generating sub-stations, take over should one station become compromised due to an attack would further the country’s ability to keep the ports or other areas operational should a failure of a major component of the power grid due to an attack, weather or mechanical issue. The issue around securing our ports to protect the people, infrastructure and economy from terrorism is a discussion that continues today since the attacks of 9/11.
An area that must also be considered when discussing securing our economic activity, the relationship between labor and management at the ports is a vital issue. While this is not a port security issue, though disgruntled employees could pose a security threat, it is an issue facing the world economy when