A conversation with Ron Jimerson, CISO, Port of Seattle


Ron has been an IT Security professional for over 20 years. He currently leads the strategic vision and coordination for sustaining business resiliency for the Port of Seattle’s Aviation, Maritime, and Corporate cyber functions. This includes focus on risk management, AI, security architecture designs, network defenses, incident response, governance, and continuity of operations, which is shared by a community of partnerships.

He has matured technology and cyber programs by leveraging best practices, security frameworks, advanced security tools, and employee development investments, and other goals associated with equity, diversity, and inclusion. He holds a M.S. degree in leadership and cybersecurity and is a certified CIO practitioner. He is a Certified Information Security Professional (CISSP) and is a founding member of the PACC-Net.

In this interview, Ron Jimerson, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at the Port of Seattle, discusses various aspects of maritime cybersecurity at the Singapore Maritime Week 2024

Ron explores the intricate landscape of the maritime sector, extending beyond mere shipping to encompass port operators, financing companies, and logistics. He provides insight into the diverse array of stakeholders involved and the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape, fueled by the advancements in digitalization.

Furthermore, Ron underscores the significance of information sharing and collaborative partnerships in bolstering cybersecurity defenses. He highlights initiatives such as tabletop exercises and the establishment of Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) as vital mechanisms in this regard. Ron underscores the susceptibility of the maritime sector to cyber threats, particularly ransomware attacks, exemplified by the impactful NotPetya incident that served as a catalyst for industry-wide awareness.

Ron also delves into the evolving strategies for cyber defense, notably emphasizing the pivotal role of AI and generative AI in threat analysis and simulation exercises. Additionally, he addresses the crucial human element in cybersecurity, underscoring the necessity of ongoing training and heightened awareness to mitigate human errors.

Lastly, Ron touches upon the challenges and considerations surrounding the implementation of AI, cautioning against excessive reliance on AI solutions and stressing the imperative of continual development and rigorous scrutiny in AI technology.

Recorded 19th April 2024, Singapore Maritime Week, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

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