Threats to global maritime security

With 90% of the world’s trade being carried by sea, maritime security is a paramount issue. 

2-3 December 2015 / Olympia London

According to a recent report from NYA International, at least 53 seafarers have already been taken hostage this year in piracy attacks off the coast of West Africa; conflicts in North Africa have spilled into the Mediterranean with a guided missile attack on an Egyptian Coastguard vessel and state-sponsored actions against merchant shipping; and criminal boarding or ‘armed robbery against ships’ remains a serious risk facing mariners and their ships in Southern and Southeast Asia.

By offering access to many of the leading suppliers within the maritime security sector as well as the opportunity to attend expert-led conference presentations and live demonstrations, Transport Security Expo has been designed to help meet the needs of all those security professionals trying to deal with the complexity and the diversity of the problems facing the maritime industry.

Just how complex and diverse those needs are is illustrated by the comments of some of those who will be participating in the Expo. AsSteven Roberts, Managing Director of Regal Maritime Solutions said in a recent interview:  “Generally our clients are as diverse as the areas that we operate in. Our largest clients are commercial ship owners, charterers, managers and in some cases, insurers. However the company does have a developing client base with cruise ship operators, pleasure vessels and fishing fleets. We also deploy teams to protect offshore oil & gas platforms.

In addition we provide security for vessels that are moored in a port for a prolonged period of time in a wide variety of situations.

In the words of Dr Hugo Rosemont of the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College London, who will be giving a presentation in the Expo’s Future Border Briefing Theatre: “There is a complex interplay between the physical measures you get at the ports themselves, the work of the border officials, often supported by private sector security companies, and some of the IT systems and supporting technologies that come off the back of that, such as the systems in place to cross-check data against watch lists. Sea ports are potentially as significant as airports in this respect.”

Just as in every other industry of course, internet-based technologies create both opportunities and risks for the maritime industry. Exhibiting company GMP Marine provides cloud-based, integrated software to help with the administrative tasks of private marine security companies. As Kevin Maddison, Managing Director of GMP Marine, explains: “The companies we work with are very fragmented with some parts of the business acting independently; so much so that the information being stored can be difficult to trace and share. Our integrated system brings all of that information together into a single system, enabling all the team members within the company to access only the information related to their role.”

Also exhibiting will be Templar Executives whose CEO, Andrew Fitzmaurice, says: “We have already done some work in the maritime sector and we know there is a potential cyber security threat there. The principles of cyber security are sector-agnostic and we see Transport Security Expo as a good opportunity to promote what we can do for the transport sector even if they don’t think they’re a target yet.

Critical to maritime security, however, is not just the design of the latest products or the sophistication of the latest technologies but the ability to bring them together to create a cohesive solution. As Admiral Lord West, a member of the Transport Security Expo Advisory Board, has said: “One of the things I’ve been calling for … is a more holistic, joined-up approach, and at Transport Security Expo this year there will be features that bring technologies and products from a lot of different companies together to show how when you take a composite view,you can make transport systems much safer for the travelling public and make the actual assets themselves more secure.

Working collaboratively is a theme that is reinforced by Martin Clark, Head of Security at Associated British Ports, who will also be giving a conference presentation at Transport Security Expo. “It’s vitally important that I engage not just with the regulators but also with other industry stakeholders and with experts from across the security spectrum. In my experience, the best place to do that is at events like Transport Security Expo.”

Peter Jones, CEO of Nineteen Events, the organisers of Transport Security Expo, commented: “From demonstrations of the most advanced technologies to free-to-attend presentations from some of the world’s most respected experts, Transport Security Expo has to be an essential date in the diary for anyone involved in any aspect of maritime security.”

In addition to Maritime Security, Transport Security Expo will also be covering Aviation Security, Rail Security, Major Events Transport Security, Secure Transportation and Border Security.

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