The National Response Center (NRC) recently changed how it wants to be notified in the event of a maritime and cybersecurity incident.  The NRC published a bulletin https://mariners.coastguard.blog/2019/12/04/reporting-security-incidents-to-national-response-center/, reminding owners and operators to ensure they list the NRC's 24-hour hotline, 800-424-8802, in their facility/vessel security plan.  Use of the telephone hotline ensures reliability and allows the NRC watchstander answering the phone to make sure all pertinent information is recorded.  The NRC NO LONGER provides an email address on its website for reporting incidents.

All Facility Security Officers (FSO) and Company Security Officers (CSO) of MTSA regulated 105 maritime facilities and 106 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) facilities should take this opportunity to make changes to your Facility/OCS Facility Security Plans specifically for sections which list the contact information for the NRC.  Seebald & Associates recommends that FSO/CSOs update their standard operating procedures, quick response cards and contact checklists at all access points to ensure they are properly contacting the NRC.  FSOs/CSOs that review and update their FSPs should document this action as a security drill and ensure the change is communicated to all employees. 

Additionally, for cyber incidents that do not also involve physical or pollution effects, the Coast Guard allows reporting parties to call and report the incident to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in lieu of the NRC. NCCIC is a 24×7 cyber situational awareness, incident response, and management center staffed by watch standers who can also provide technical assistance following an incident. It is imperative that the reporting party inform the NCCIC that they are a Coast Guard regulated entity in order to satisfy the reporting requirements of 33 CFR 101.305. NCCIC can be reached at (888) 282-0870.

Coast Guard Policy Letter 08-16, “Reporting Suspicious Activities and Breaches of Security,” outlines the requirements for regulated vessels and facilities to report security incidents, in accordance with the 2002 Maritime Transportation Security Act.

Visit our website at www.seebald.com to learn more about our products, services and our exceptional team of maritime security professionals and to sign up to receive current maritime security news and updates. To request any of our maritime security products and services contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seafarer’s Access is in the news once again and it is time to prepare.  The Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance recently published a Marine Safety Information Bulletin on this topic, reminding facility operators of the requirements, including key dates.

In plain language, the purpose of the Seafarer’s Access Final Rule is to ensure that waterfront facilities have a way to accommodate mariners who wish to transit through a Maritime Transportation Security Act regulated facility in order to go into town, or to return to or join the ship.  The regulation also applies to pilots, and to members of Seafarer welfare organizations, like Seaman’s Church Institute. 

Most of us who work with mariners can appreciate the need to treat our seafarers with dignity, and to find ways to improve the quality of their lives without compromising security.

The next milestone in the Seafarer’s Access program is February 3, 2020.  By that date, facility operators must have a system for accommodating Seafarer Access documented in their Facility Security Plans.  This will require an amendment to your Facility Security Plan.  Given that the Coast Guard requires facility operators to submit amendments 60 days in advance, you should be working on those procedures now.

Not sure of what, exactly, is required or how to get it to the Coast Guard for approval?  Not to worry, Seebald & Associates are here to help.  We have been incorporating Seafarer Access procedures in our audits, and submitting the necessary amendments to the Coast Guard for approval, since the Final Rule was published.  We are also incorporating Seafarer Access into Facility Security Assessments and Facility Security Plans.

We are glad to review your plan and develop an amendment that will meet Coast Guard regulations and align with your business operations.  With Seebald & Associates, you have access to experts on Seafarer’s Access – and to the finest maritime security risk experts available anywhere. 

Seafarer’s Access is in the news once again and it is time to prepare.  The Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance recently published a Marine Safety Information Bulletin on this topic, reminding facility operators of the requirements, including key dates.

In plain language, the purpose of the Seafarer’s Access Final Rule is to ensure that waterfront facilities have a way to accommodate mariners who wish to transit through a Maritime Transportation Security Act regulated facility in order to go into town, or to return to or join the ship.  The regulation also applies to pilots, and to members of Seafarer welfare organizations, like Seaman’s Church Institute. 

Most of us who work with mariners can appreciate the need to treat our seafarers with dignity, and to find ways to improve the quality of their lives without compromising security.

The next milestone in the Seafarer’s Access program is February 3, 2020.  By that date, facility operators must have a system for accommodating Seafarer Access documented in their Facility Security Plans.  This will require an amendment to your Facility Security Plan.  Given that the Coast Guard requires facility operators to submit amendments 60 days in advance, you should be working on those procedures now.  By June 1, 2020, The facility owner or operator must implement their sytem of access.

Not sure of what, exactly, is required or how to get it to the Coast Guard for approval?  Not to worry, Seebald & Associates are here to help.  We have been incorporating Seafarer Access procedures in our audits, and submitting the necessary amendments to the Coast Guard for approval, since the Final Rule was published.  We are also incorporating Seafarer Access into Facility Security Assessments and Facility Security Plans.

We are glad to review your plan and develop an amendment that will meet Coast Guard regulations and align with your business operations.  With Seebald & Associates, you have access to experts on Seafarer’s Access – and to the finest maritime security risk experts available anywhere. 

NATONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH OCTOBER 2019

“OWN IT, SECURE IT, PROTECT IT”

Attention all Facility and Company Security Officers, the month of October 2019 is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).  To help promote awareness activities, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), have co-published a Toolkit to help us all “#BeCyberSmart”.  The overarching theme for this year is “OWN IT, SECURE IT, PROTECT IT”- and will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumers devices, and e-commerce security.

The 2019 Toolkit has Top Tips to share during NCSAM; Engagement Ideas, Criteria for Hosting a NCSAM Partner Event and other useful Cybersecurity Initiatives.  In this day and time cybersecurity threats are REAL!  There are numerous incidents where maritime facilities and companies have been attacked in recent years and the damages are “catastrophic” in cost, downtime and loss of customer trust.  

To access a free copy of the NCSAM 2019 Toolkit, simply click on the link and print or download;

https://niccs.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/dhs_ncsam2019_toolkit_508c.pdf?trackDocs=dhs_ncsam2019_toolkit_508c.pdf

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility!  Let Seebald & Associates be your partner in cybersecurity.  We work with our trusted partner, MAD Security, to provide cyber assessments, virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) functions, and 24/7/365 network monitoring, intrusion detection, vulnerability scanning, and log correlation.  Contact Cliff Neve at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 540 809 8549 for more information.  Also, be on the lookout shortly for the monthly Seebald & Associates Monthly Drill reminder for October 2019 which will focus on an element of Cybersecurity that you can conduct within your organization!  “OWN IT, SECURE IT, PROTECT IT”.

Hopefully you view your vessel or Facility Security Plan (FSP) as an important part of your overall security program.  But do you know how those plans fit into The Big Picture?  Believe it or not, you are an integral part of our nation’s overall strategy to protect critical infrastructure and our Homeland.

One step up from an individual FSP is the local Area Maritime Security Plan.  This plan, written by the Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), helps guide the Coast Guard Captain of the Port on addressing security issues across the port area. 

AMSC’s are made up of private sector representatives as well as various government officials, so you could be a member or simply participate in AMSC meetings if you’d like to contribute beyond your own fence line or gunwale.  Check the list of AMSC contact points here, or we at S&A would be glad to introduce you to your local AMSC coordinator at any time.   

Those AMSPs feed into higher level maritime security plans, and contribute to plans and strategies at the Department of Homeland Security level.  The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (or “NIPP”) organizes critical infrastructure into various Sectors (energy, transportation, healthcare, etc.), and lays out information sharing and partnership frameworks to counter broad threats, such as terrorism, natural disasters, and cyber. 

Very recently, DHS published their Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence.  One of its goals is to Enhance U.S. Infrastructure Protections and Community Preparedness.  Outside of the Coast Guard and DHS, there are other strategies of interest.  For example, the National Cyber Strategy specifically addresses maritime cyber security. 

These plans and strategies don’t solve all of our security problems, but they do represent hard working public servants and private sector contributors working to protect our nation.  At Seebald & Associates, we are proud to work with the many patriots in the maritime industry to do our part in this worthy goal.