RISING TO THE CHALLENGE OF MOUNTING MARITIME SECURITY THREATS
A fundamental prerequisite for trade and commerce to run smoothly is to ensure that the associations between ships, ports and people are sustained successfully. The International Maritime Organization plays a pivotal role in the way it responds to maritime security threats by formulating rules & regulations and by working closely with the Maritime Safety Committee. IMO’s International Maritime Security Trust Fund supports global, regional and national missions to develop the competencies of member states to deal with security threats.
Maritime cyber risk discusses the extent to which a technology asset could be endangered by a potential incident, which may cause operational, safety or security failures because of information technology infrastructure getting corrupted, compromised or lost.
Cyber risk management deals with identifying, analyzing, and communicating a cyber-related risk by sidestepping, or lessening it, to a level that is tolerable, considering the costs and benefits of the actions taken. The aim is to support safe shipping activities which are resistant to cyber risks.
The information and operational technology systems onboard a vessel are as vulnerable to hacking as onshore systems. Security breaches of this nature can inflict damage to the vessels, workforce, ports and other marine infrastructure. IMO is in the forefront of spreading awareness in the shipping industry on ways to block risks by promoting a maritime cyber risk management approach.
Armed robbery and piracy
Maritime piracy has been one of the major concerns of The International Maritime Organization for a long time. Several measures developed in co-operation with member states and the shipping industry have noticeably reduced armed robbers in many of the piracy prone stretches in the seas. Beginning in 2005, IMO has addressed piracy off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. IMO is currently executing a plan for enhancing maritime security in West and Central Africa. IMO has introduced a range of measures to address piracy and armed robbery in the seas, and this includes guidance to governments, ship operators, and crew.
Carrying arms onboard ships
The IMO does not take an independent stand on carrying arms on board ships because it is the responsibility of the individual flag nations to determine the legal implications of employingprivate armed security personnel.IMO, however, issues guidelines to flagnations, ship-owners, ship operators and masters on using private armed security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas.
Migration by sea
In 2015, over 1,600 refugees perished in the Mediterranean Sea insideover-loaded vessels when they werefleeing their native lands to escape internal conflicts and civil war. IMO is campaigning to bring inbetter focus on tacklinghazardous migration by sea through safe and regular migration corridors, so that the fatalities that take place during migration in overcrowded and poorly maintained vessels can be reduced.
If you found this article interesting, you can also read other blogs from VS&B that are packed with a wealth of information from the world of container shipping.
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