As we get closer to the holiday season, many in the maritime industry see an increase in business.  All those toys on the shelves and specialty foods come from somewhere, and the container trade typically sees a surge in operations this time of year.  Some segments of the energy industry will see an increase in heating oil, propane, and other fuels, and even facilities that handle bulk commodities are doubtless seeing those mountains of salt grow on their terminals. 

Increased trade is good for business, but busy terminals can also mean increased risk.  Fast paced operations can distract from security needs and contribute to a sense of chaos.  Key employees may be on vacation, and foul weather may simply encourage people to keep their heads down.  Ice and snow can degrade the operation of cameras and other security systems.  Terrorists and others may try to exploit any of these factors.

To reduce your security risk, consider the following:

  • Remind all personnel to be alert for suspicious activity or behavior, including the presence of suspicious packages or devices on the facility.
  • “Phishing” attempts and other scams may come in the form of holiday themed e-mail.  Ensure all employees are aware of the potential threat, and to follow company guidelines concerning e-mail security.  In general, don’t click on links or open attachments if you aren’t sure of the sender.  Malware and Cyber-attacks could cost the company money and even degrade critical security, safety, and operational systems. 
  • Take advantage of your S&A Platinum membership perks by participating in monthly webinars and conducting drills using the monthly drills scenarios you receive by email.

Here at Seebald & Associates we hope that the remainder of 2018 and 2019 is a prosperous, safe, and secure year for you, your families, and your employees.

You might be thinking, “My FSP already has an FSA, so I can just change the date
and re-submit this.”  Not so fast!!  33 CFR 105.310 is very clear in stating, “The FSA
must be reviewed and validated, and the FSA report must be updated each time the
FSP is submitted for re-approval or revisions.”  So, the bottom line is we need to
conduct a complete FSA prior to re-submission of our FSP for approval.  This is an
extremely important process so take the time to do a conscientious job because
threats are always changing.

33CFR105.300 details everything that must be considered in developing the FSA.
You must conduct a thorough on scene assessment but not limited to all of your
facility’s security systems, operations, infrastructure, threats, vulnerabilities and
weaknesses.  You must also address important systems, resources and processes to
protect all of the personnel from contingencies, natural disasters, and mishaps.  33
CFR105.300 provides extensive specifics on all that must be addressed.

The FSA must also include a Risk-Based Analysis.  We’ll address the RBA in next
week’s Blog.  Remember to check your FSP approval date!!!

Facility Security Plans (FSP) were first written and submitted to the Coast Guard in
2004 with a 5 year re-write requirement.  For everyone keeping track of the 5 year
re-write schedule for FSPs, that means in 2019 most facilities will need to re-write
their FSP.  For those of you that are familiar with the Seebald Security Pyramid, you
know that at the base of the Pyramid is the Facility Security Assessment (FSA).
Without a well prepared and well thought out FSA, the FSP may be very weak and
not provide the level of security that your facility needs.  The FSA will help you build
an FSP that truly takes into account current threats, real vulnerabilities at your site,
and design mitigation actions and security strategies that will be most effective in
reducing your risk.  This means that you, the Facility Security Officer, must be
intimately involved in this development process!  We’ll spend more time on this in
the coming blogs and in the November Webinar to be held on November 29, 2018 at
11:00 am.
One final thought, be sure to check your FSP approval date.  Many FSPs will need to
be resubmitted in 2019.

Seebald & Associates’ and MAD Security’s Cliff Neve delivered a webinar on October 25th discussing the recent cyber attacks at the Ports of Barcelona and San Diego. Cybersecurity has many analogies to physical security, and bad actors use the same basic steps to exploit victims’ information, property, and information systems. In addition, the convergence of information technology (IT) with operational  technology (OT) allows for expanded access for administrators and operators to industrial control systems, camera systems, and other OT devices.  It also, however, expands the attack surface for nefarious cyber actors, and Cliff discussed the ways to protect your converged networks from threats.

Most companies cannot afford to hire their own 24/7/365 cyber security operations center personnel, nor should they spend the money for at least a dozen people (~five people per 24/7/365 watch position), the facility, the software and licenses, the training for personnel,  and the management oversight necessary to secure their information and information systems. 

Seebald and Associates have partnered with MAD Security to offer a very affordable alternative: 24x7x365 Managed Security Services, including network monitoring and vulnerability scanning, that will harden your IT systems and allow for quick detection of cyber intrusions.


Call or email Cliff today at 540 809 8549 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a discussion and get a quote for services.



Per the H.R. 5729 law passed by Congress in July 2018, the Coast Guard is required to submit a report summarizing the DHS led security assessment study on TWIC readers.  The study is currently being conducted and not expected to be completed until sometime late Spring of 2019.  For at least 60 days after the report is submitted to Congress, TWIC Reader requirements are delayed for all Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) facilities to include facilities handling CDC but do NOT transfer them to or from vessels and receive vessels certified to carry 1000 or more passengers.  Below explains where and how the confusion came about.

On August 23, 2016 the Coast Guard published a final rule in the Federal Register named “Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Requirements,” which was to be implemented on August 23, 2018.  As we got closer to the effective date of this regulation, rumors started circulating that the Coast Guard would delay implementation. 

In June 2018, the Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that delayed for three years the implementation of TWIC readers for facilities that handle CDCs in a non-maritime nexus, meaning they do not receive or transfer them to or from vessels.  In July 2018, a court order delayed the enforcement of TWIC readers for all facilities handling CDC either by maritime means or by land. 

Shortly after the court ruling, Congress passed a law, the aforementioned H.R. 5729, prohibiting the Coast Guard from implementing and enforcing the TWIC Reader requirements on any CDC facility and cruise ship terminals for at least 60 days after the Coast Guard provides Congress with a TWIC Reader security and feasibility study.  This study is currently underway.  The study is expected to be completed by late Spring of 2019.  DHS and the Coast Guard will then review and assess the study before submitting their final report to Congress.  This review process may take several weeks or months. 

What does this mean for your facility and your business?

The regulatory delay is so the Coast Guard can reconsider the effectiveness and scope of the TWIC Final Rule and to re-evaluate which facilities would be subject to the electronic TWIC inspection requirements.  The TWIC program’s purpose is clear - to keep persons who may be a security risk away from secure areas of vessels and waterfront facilities.

Key take-away points:

  • Expect the Coast Guard to significantly increase the number of TWIC verifications (with their own electronic readers) during their routine and/or unannounced inspections; 

  • Certain vessel and facility operators will be required to use readers in the future;

  • TWIC is here to stay…so facility and vessel operators who voluntarily use their TWIC readers will be one step ahead; and

  • Seebald & Associates International is ready to assist you in getting ahead of the game by reducing your exposure to compliance risk, whether for the TWIC Final Rule or any regulatory concern you may have.

We’re proud of our reputation in helping you keep your facility and our nation’s ports secure.