Securely Sharing Data Together

When making payments from a bank account, these days we tend to take an extra security code for granted. No one wants to give criminals any opportunity. In a similar way, Portbase is introducing an additional security step for access to the Port Community System (PCS). From next summer, all our approximately 4,000 customers will be working with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). It is one element of a broad programme called ‘Securely Sharing Data Together’.

In ‘Securely Sharing Data Together’, Portbase is joining forces with government agencies, industry bodies, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Port of Amsterdam Authority and the port business community. The reason for this comprehensive programme, which was launched in early 2022, is the ever-increasing level of crime at the ports. Data is a much sought-after commodity by criminals – for example, in order to gain access to terminals, illegally remove containers or pick up drugs.

The reason for ‘Securely Sharing Data Together’ is ever-increasing crime

Leading role for Portbase

Given Portbase’s key position in the daily exchange of information within the port logistics chains, taking a leading role in enhancing the security of data is a logical step. Technology is by no means always the area of greatest vulnerability in systems. Digital break-ins, leaks of personal data or thefts of PINs are often the result of people acting carelessly, often without realising it.

The vulnerability of systems is often the result of human actions, conscious or unconscious

Three tracks

Portbase is pursuing ‘Securely Sharing Data Together’ along three tracks:

  • Secure identities; measures, including MFA, to make sure you always know who you are doing business with and who is allowed to perform which actions.
  • Secure chains; releasing containers at terminals via a
    chain of trust instead of fraud-prone PINs or similar keys;
  • Secure platform; for making the use of the PCS even more secure.

Some of the programme’s elements will deliver significant security benefits straight away. The introduction of MFA is one example. Others, such as implementing chains of trust, will require close coordination and cooperation in the logistics chain. In concrete pilots, Portbase is looking at how this can be done in the most effective way, together with shipping companies, terminals, shippers, forwarders and carriers. Secure data sharing between trusted parties prevents illegal practices.

Wanting it, doing it and working together more!

Most of the technology for securely sharing data together is already available within the PCS. So implementing the programme is primarily a matter of wanting it, doing it and working together more. Portbase is making an extra effort to connect up any parties not yet connected to the PCS – shippers and some forwarders, for example. Ultimately, everyone has an interest in preventing unauthorised access and excesses in the port. That will help us avoid further material and reputational damage. People and data need to be properly protected. Only then can logistics chains operate with maximum reliability, now and in the future!

Ultimately, everyone has an interest in preventing excesses in the port