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Gary Kessler's Resume [PDF]

About Gary C. Kessler

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Gary Kessler Associates

Maritime Cybersecurity



The Maritime Transportation Sector (MTS) is a system of systems, comprising port operations, cargo and passenger shipping lines, manufacturing, vessel traffic control, and the vessels themselves. The maritime industry — representing a mode of transportation as old as recorded human history — has one foot in ancient tradition and the other foot in the use of the most modern technologies, including autonomous vessels and the integration of operational technology with maritime information systems. The MTS is used by all sectors of boaters, sailors, and mariners and includes merchant mariners, commercial fishing fleets, military, and recreational boaters, as well as an integrated network of aids-to-navigation, communication, situational awareness, and tracking.

The MTS is incredibly complex and that is the root of some of the issues that the industry has with managing cybersecurity. More importantly, the industry has yet to fully acknowledge and own cybersecurity as a safety issue, and most organizations do not yet recognize their role in managing cyber issues.

As a subject of interest, maritime cybersecurity combines Gary's 40-plus year involvement in information security with his lifelong love of the sea. Gary has been teaching cybersecurity at the college/university level for more than 20 years (including a sabbatical at the USCG Academy), has been a certified SCUBA diver since his teens (and also an instructor), and holds a 50 GT near coastal master merchant mariner certificate (MMC). He is on the board of strategic advisers of the Maritime & Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (MPS-ISAO), active with National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) standardization, and engaged in cybersecurity activities at the national level of the USCG Auxiliary.

GKA is actively engaged in teaching, consulting, and making presentations about maritime cybersecurity at a number of venues; he offers everything from short maritime cyber awareness presentations to multi-day seminars. He is also actively engaged in research related to the Automatic Identification System (AIS); additional information can be found on his "AIS Research Using A Raspberry Pi" page and AIS Tools section on his software page.

Gary has several papers published about maritime cybersecurity:

  • Kessler, G.C. (2017, November 8). Web Site Security for Seaports and Shipping Lines. The Maritime Executive Online. Retrieved from https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/web-site-security-for-seaports-and-shipping-lines
  • Kessler, G.C., Craiger, J.P., & Haass, J.C. (2018, September). A Taxonomy Framework for Maritime Cybersecurity: A Demonstration Using the Automatic Identification System. TransNav, The International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, 12(3), 429-437. DOI: 10.12716/1001.12.03.01
  • Kessler, G.C. (2018, October 12). Cybersecurity and the Return-on-Negligence. The Maritime Executive Online. Retrieved from https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/cybersecurity-and-the-return-on-negligence
  • Kessler, G.C. (2019, Spring). Cybersecurity in the Maritime Domain. Proceedings of the USCG Marine Safety & Security Council, 76(1), 34-39.
  • Kessler, G.C. (In press, expected June 2020). Protected AIS: A Demonstration of Capability Scheme to Provide Authentication and Message Integrity. TransNav, The International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation.
  • Mraz, R., Kessler, G.C., Gold, E., & Cline, J.G. (In press, exp. 2020, April). Enhanced Iceberg Information Dissemination for Public and Autonomous Maritime Use. In Proceedings of ICMTSD 2020: 14. International Conference on Maritime Transport and Ship Design, April 23-24, 2020, New York, NY.

Contact Gary for additional information about GKA's Maritime Cybersecurity services.