With the threats facing shipping become ever more complex and diverse, Dryad Maritime's COO, Ian Millen speaks to CSO Alliance, a global digital network dedicated to serving Company Security Officers (CSOs), about the big threats CSOs should be focusing their attention on in 2016 and what regions they should be most concerned about from a security perspective.
Maritime terrorism is obviously something that needs to be continually accessed at the moment. Currently, we [Dryad] are not as concerned as some media commentators, but this is not to say our evaluation of the threat won’t change.
"We know that terrorists use maritime routes for logistical purposes – moving fighters and weapons – so there is an obvious maritime link there that needs to be closely monitored," he says.
Our assessment is that there is still a greater likelihood of attacks happening ashore rather than at sea, as we saw last year with the attacks on the Bardo Museum, the beach in Tunis and the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and therefore more risk to seafarers and tourists when ashore. Ship and port security is generally good, but beyond this exists a greater level of risk and uncertainty.
Everybody needs to remain vigilant as we’ve seen terrorists strike in many different areas. That doesn’t mean that the threat of terrorism should paralyse maritime trade or the seafarers that the industry relies upon. Keeping well informed of emerging threats and taking simple, but effective, measures to mitigate risk are the key to safety at sea and ashore.
What security process efficiencies can you recommend or envisage between the shipping and port industry?
The answer to this and many other challenges is the three Cs – Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration. It’s important to communicate and share information on threats and risks across the industry, and indeed with other related industries. Cooperation is wide-ranging, but can be anything from responding to requests from others or simply complying with best practice – it’s a trust building activity that makes the whole more than the sum of its parts.
Collaboration is much stronger than cooperation and involves individuals, teams and organisations working together towards common goals and objectives. Safety and security is everyone’s business, so there couldn’t be a more important sector to collaborate in.
To do all of the above requires commitment, effort and the infrastructure to share information. The CSO Alliance is one platform that can do this – think of the individual CSOs as the bricks and the CSO platform as the cement that
binds them together. An intelligence picture is like a jigsaw puzzle that is made all more challenging by the fact that you rarely have all the pieces of the puzzle in your possession.
Not only do you not have the box lid with the overall picture on, but some of the pieces you need are in other people’s boxes. Communicate, cooperate and collaborate and you have half a chance of filling the gaps and having a discernible picture from which you can make good decisions. In Dryad Maritime, this is what we do all the time; finding the pieces, building the picture and taking the actions required to keep our clients safe.