Maritime ISAC: A Glass Half Full

September 20, 2011

Article by Greg Girard originally published in September issue of Maritime Professional.

There is always someone who can benefit from information you are willing to share. Sharing information that will help others almost sounds like the second Golden Rule, or at least a simple moral we would teach our children.

But can this same simple rule apply to a “real world” maritime scenario? For instance, as a backdrop for the information to be shared, let’s add drug trafficking, crime syndicates, terrorist plots, national security implications, advanced military technology and weaponry, seas that cover 70 percent of the world’s surface, 90 percent of the world’s cargo, marauding pirates, governmental sovereignty, agency jurisdictions, multi-million dollar corporate losses, and legal liabilities. Is it then so easy to apply our second Golden Rule? It certainly is necessary but it can get a bit more complicated. Read the rest of this entry »

Outbound Security Should be Just as Important to U.S.

August 22, 2011

The objective of international trade and supply chain security programs is to create a secure operating environment for commerce. Although the system is commonly referred to as the global supply chain, U.S. Government policies and procedures often seem to be implemented with little regard for the truism “the chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.

U.S. trade security regulations and programs have translated into a focus on increased screening of carriers and cargo entering into the U.S. by customs and law enforcement agencies, but with a lesser emphasis on cargo carriers and containers departing the U.S. for foreign ports of call. This inequity in the level of protection afforded to the security of cargo carriers and containers on their outbound leg represents a threat to the integrity of the overall system. Read the rest of this entry »


June 9, 2011

One of the most valuable contributions a director of security can provide to his company’s executive management is assistance in determining the appropriate “man-machine” mix for their facilities and operations. This guidance should be an essential component of the company’s budgeting process, to be integrated into its ROI calculations for investing in security programs for facilities, vessels, and their operations. Read the rest of this entry »

Attacks on the Energy Industry: Important Differences Between Terrorism and Piracy

May 24, 2011

The global energy industry is under threat of attack by criminal and terrorist elements, but for different reasons. It is important to understand that piracy and maritime terrorism are separate “disciplines” that have no direct one-to-one correlation. Piracy is a crime committed for financial gain, while the objective of maritime terrorism is for immediate or strategic political goals. In the case of attacks on the energy industry therefore, the means used to gain control of energy vessels and platforms will be determined by the threat objective. Read the rest of this entry »

Hundreds of Millions on TWIC and Still No Scanners

May 12, 2011 story: Undercover government investigators were able to get into major U.S. seaports — at one point driving a vehicle containing a simulated explosive — by flashing counterfeit or fraudulently obtained port “credentials” to security officials — raising serious questions about a program that has issued the cards to more than 1.6 million people, Congress disclosed Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »

IMO’s Proposed Security Manual Should Avoid ‘One Size Fits All’

December 7, 2010

Last month, the IMO published the table of contents for its future security manual that will to provide guidelines for the effective implementation of preventive security measures promulgated in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Since ISPS Code implementation, oversight and enforcement of the comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of commercial maritime facilities, vessels, and operations has been delegated to the Contracting Governments. While this policy approach encouraged agreement of the signatory countries to the measure, practical application has resulted in the uneven interpretation of the criteria for compliance.

Although it has taken almost eight years from since the agreement to the ISPS Code in December of 2002, it is expected that the IMO’s development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual for port and ship security will help harmonize performance-based criteria for “functional” compliance with ISPS Code requirements and recommendations throughout the global maritime community. Read the rest of this entry »

Citadel Rooms: An Option, Not a Solution

November 12, 2010

Within the past six months, more and more stories about pirate attacks are mentioning the crew of the attacked vessel gathering in the strong room or Citadel of the vessel. In fact, just last week, a tanker crew retreated to the Citadel as pirates boarded. The pirates, in an attempt to gain access to the Citadel, fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the room only to have the RPG bounce back, injuring three of the pirates. Wouldn’t you have loved to see the pirates faces when that happened? Read the rest of this entry »