On 18 February, the CEI-Executive Secretariat participated in the first workshop and local dissemination event of the SECNET Project organised by the Trieste Port Authority - Port Network Authority of the Eastern Adriatic Sea -  in its quality of Lead Partner. The event took place at its headquarters and gathered around thirty stakeholders from the public and private sector.

The aim of the dissemination event was to present the objectives of the project, the pilot actions and its first results to the wide public at the regional and local level and to collect its reactions and contributions.

The gathering witnessed a  general presentation of the project and of the activities carried out as well as of the upcoming cross-border strategy and a Joint Protocol which will be signed by the Port of Venice (North Adriatic Sea Port Authority), the Port of Koper and Trieste Port Authority at the final conference of the project. The Port of Trieste also illustrated the main features of the pilot actions implemented by the project to strengthen physical and cybersecurity.

It stressed the need to achieve a regulation of the use of new instruments for the surveillance of port areas in a coordinated way with all the competent authorities. In noting the lack of previous experience of institutional cooperation with other ports in the field of security, the Maritime Authority highlighted how the ports involved in the SECNET project were very different from a geomorphological point of view. It also underlined how this aspect could affect the definition of joint guidelines and how in any case, it was essential to bring such initiatives to the attention of the central decision-making level. In this regard, the presence of the Rear Admiral (CP) Giardino among the keynote speakers of the final conference of the project was greeted in a favourable manner.

Several terminal operators from the Port of Trieste have recently (e.g. TMT, SIOT) started the assessment of the cybersecurity level of plants and equipment in use, to be accompanied by a penetration test for detection and eventual mitigation of the critical issues and vulnerabilities found. The opinion generally seems to be shared according to which the main weakness is represented by the users of the IT infrastructure. In this context, it is, therefore, crucial to pursue campaigns of awareness and focus on employee training. Participants welcomed the proposal put forward by the Port Authority to establish a committee of the ICT managers of the various subjects, involving public and private sectors.

The CEI-Executive Secretariat is responsible for the communication and the elaboration of a common methodology and strategy for the involvement of stakeholders. Two more local dissemination events are foreseen in the coming weeks in the ports of Koper and Venice.

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