The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) on Monday, announced that the Baltimore Port administration has been awarded a federal grant worth $1.6 million for reinforcement of cybersecurity infrastructure at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.
The funding has been released under the Port Security Grant Program, lead by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The state department has categorically said that grants will be allocated for the solidification of cybersecurity and the establishment of more secure access control policies at the state-owned marine terminal.
The allocation of grant follows shortly after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, organized a cybersecurity summit in Annapolis, in late July emphasizing the urgent need for collaborative efforts by the state and private sector in improving cybersecurity to safeguard the national properties.
Baltimore is considered as one of the most secure ports in the US, with its terminals receiving top ratings in the annual security assessments conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The port has spent up to $20 million since 2005 received under the same program for enhancing security infrastructure associated with the port. The port has upgraded control procedures and has also invested in physical security structures like fencing and high-mast lighting.
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater, expressing his gratitude to FEMA for the grant said, “As the Port continues to lead the way in Maryland’s economic recovery, this grant will help us make security an even stronger focus in our day-to-day operations.”
Cybersecurity at high-frequency commercial and financial trade centers like ports has been a matter of grave concern with the Biden administration since the colonial pipeline cyber breach in May, after which funds were promised for its strengthening at such centers.
The cybersecurity enhancements at the Baltimore port from the grant will protect the interests of its employees and cargo worth millions handled annually.
The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.
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