News & Updates

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

Fall is in the air.  It’s time for spiced pumpkin lattes and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).[1]  That’s right!  Each year, on October 1st – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) kicks off their annual reminder about the importance of cybersecurity. 

In addition to other themes, this year’s NCSAM campaign “will emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at both home and the workplace – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” [2]  So, why is cybersecurity critical to the maritime industry?  Adversaries are targeting port and maritime critical infrastructure every day

To help raise awareness of the cyber risks posed to the maritime sector, the Maritime and Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (MPS-ISAO) is supporting NCSAM as well as year-round training and awareness efforts.  Just last week, the MPS-ISAO announced a new e-Learning maritime-themed cybersecurity course to promote cybersecurity awareness across the maritime industry.  As a result, the Florida maritime community now has a new training option to help improve cybersecurity personal accountability in the ports and meet new mandates from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) required to be in effect by January 1, 2021.[3]

Among the best practices for cybersecurity in the Florida ports, you should:

  • Ensure you are using removable media, to include USB drives, safely and in line with your organization’s policy.
  • Keep your ID badge visible at work. Challenge anyone who is not wearing a badge.
  • Always report an information security incident to your relevant superior, no matter how small it seems!

It takes all of us – an all-hands approach and a cultural shift in our thinking – to consider both the safety and security of maritime operations. Think of it this way; you are a link in the maritime industry chain that is a globally interconnected ecosystem.  The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  Break the chain, and there are cascading consequences. 

Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.



About the Author

Christy Coffey serves as the VP of Operations for the Maritime and Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (MPS-ISAO).  Headquartered at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the MPS-ISAO offers several resources to the maritime community including Cybersecurity Intelligence and Information Services.  To learn about these and other MPS-ISAO resources, please write to