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Coast Guard Begins Verification of Cybersecurity Requirements for MTSA-Regulated Facilities

COTPs retain discretion on whether the requirements have been met, and on any potential extension of submission dates.

Due to an increase of cyber threats and vulnerabilities in the Marine Transportation System, the Coast Guard promulgated Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-20, Guidelines for Addressing Cyber Risks at MSTA Regulated Facilities in March of 2020. NVIC 01-20 provides guidance on assessing cyber risks when conducting required Facility Security Assessments (FSA) and incorporating cyber security within Facility Security Plans (FSP) required by 33 CFR parts 105 and 106.

Recognizing that NVIC 01-20 represented first-of-its-kind guidance when it was released last spring, the Coast Guard established a 1.5 year implementation period which allowed MTSA-regulated facility owners or operators time to incorporate cybersecurity into their FSAs and FSPs. During that time, the Coast Guard invested in training of its field personnel, dissemination of best practices, engagement with industry stakeholders, and similar internal alignment before the implementation period ended on Sept. 30, 2021.

Beginning on Oct. 1, 2021 facility owners and operators who have not already done so should submit FSP cyber amendments or annexes to their local Captain of the Port (COTP) as part of the facility’s annual audit. COTPs will verify that facilities have addressed cybersecurity within the FSA and FSP cyber amendments/annexes. COTPs retain discretion on whether the requirements have been met, and on any potential extension of submission dates.

In keeping with current Alternative Security Plan (ASP) processes, Commandant via the Office of Port and Facility Compliance (CG-FAC) will maintain review and approval responsibilities for ASPs, while Coast Guard COTPs will retain verification responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) List was developed in support of NVIC 01-20 and the incorporation of cyber into FSAs and FSPs, and is updated as questions and feedback are received. Additional information related to NVIC 01-20 can also be viewed on the Federal Register website.

For questions regarding NVIC 01-20 implementation guidance and FSP/ASP amendment/annex submission, it is recommended that MTSA regulated facilities owners and operators contact their local Captain of the Port well in advance of their next annual audit date before 10/01/2022.

Read more at USCG

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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