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NMLEA Launches Port Digitization and MARSEC Accreditation Program

Updated: Apr 8


The maritime industry continues to face challenges such as chronic labor shortages, rapid digitalization, evolving physical and cybersecurity threats, and accelerating climate change.


To address these challenges, the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA) has launched a Maritime Security Accreditation and Digitization Program (MARSEC ADaPt) to deliver material benefits across the entire maritime industry through the establishment of a baseline, pre-requisite standard, integrating asset digitalization capabilities with maritime security vulnerability assessments, training, exercises, and cybersecurity.


More specifically, accreditation is focused on enhancing maritime security readiness and resiliency through formalized U.S. Coast Guard recognition and the creation of a National Digital Library of Maritime Critical Infrastructure. "Ports will benefit through a reduction in annual costs associated with ongoing Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulatory compliance," said NMLEA Executive Director, Mark DuPont. "Through the NMLEA MARSEC ADaPt program, ports will be able to implement a nationally-recognized baseline standard for maritime security – a standard that has not previously been established."


DuPont went on to address the key benefis that Ports, and our Nation can realize through this Port Digitization and Accreditation Program, and outlined the Program Objectives:


MARSEC ADaPt, Program Objectives

· "Create a Digital Twin for every U.S. port, and provide the U.S. Coast Guard a National Digital Library of maritime critical infrastructure."

· "Decrease the costs to ports for Vulnerability Assessments and provide continuous improvement through 24/7/365 active “decision support” tools – integrated with a port’s “Digital Twin.”

· "Ensure that the tools are validated and recognized by agencies like DOD, DOE, and DHS."

· "Decrease the costs of training and exercises, through industry recognized software. integrated with a port’s “Digital Twin,” and allowing for accessible, affordable, adaptable, and accredited readiness and preparedness."

· "Provide a cybersecurity maturity evaluation and measurement tool that is easy to implement, affordable, and allows port entities, their managers, and their leadership an easily and readily available “living” dashboard with quick access to improvement recommendations."






In founding MARSEC ADaPt, the NMLEA has assembled a world-class team of industry experts, who will support the implementation of the Accreditation Program for any port in the country. "Our maritime accreditation team are respected leaders from academia, government and industry," said DuPont.


The MARSEC ADaPt program is founded on the core capabilities of three key organizations: the NMLEA, ARES Security and HudsonCyber. The NMLEA is the lead organization and the accrediting body. Established in 2000, the NMLEA fills a critical capabilities gap that continues to impact law enforcement, emergency response, port security and maritime defense operations throughout the United States. The NMLEA provides industry thought leadership, education and training for professionals who patrol, protect and preserve our maritime domain.


The NMLEA selected ARES Security to “power” the accreditation initiative by digitizing maritime critical infrastructure (Digital Twins) and offering software utilizing digital data to continuously optimize security, risk management, vulnerability analysis, and security training functions. Numerous U.S. ports have invested in and continue to rely on ARES Security’s digital solutions, to optimize critical security functions.


The NMLEA also selected HudsonCyber to drive cybersecurity resilience through its

platform. PortLogix is a practical, cost-efficient cyber risk management solution that was purpose-built to serve the maritime industry. Framed by leading international cybersecurity guidelines, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model, and the Cybersecurity Guidelines for Ports and Port Facilities, published by the International Association of Ports and Harbors, PortLogix delivers value by significantly enhancing cybersecurity readiness through a continuous improvement process.


For more information on the program, go to www.nmlea.org/MARSEC-Accreditation, or contact us at info@nmlea.org. To download the White Paper about this program, click on this link.

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