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Armed Guards- The end of the “Golden Age” of Somali Piracy? February 17, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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Debate over the use of armed guards has raged for several years as the those who advocate for the use of armed guards applaud their use and those who oppose their use argue that they are ineffective or exacerbate the problem.  Last year I wrote a whitepaper on how armed guards prevent hijackings.  (Deterrence Theory).   With 2012 we are finally are beginning to see objective data on the impact of armed guards.  David Rider’s article: “The Pirate Surge That Never Was” outlines some interesting facts that demonstrate that armed guards are the best line of defense for a ship in high risk waters. According to statistics in the article, October 2011 saw 26 attacks with only one successful hijacking.  Of the 26 attacks in October 2011, fully 16 of them were repelled by armed guards on the vessels.  November 2011 saw 11 attacks with 5 being repelled by armed guards.

When asked why pirate attacks are down in 2011, Robert Young Pelton, who publishes SomaliaReport.com states unequivocally: (more…)

“Pick your poison” – Security or Convenience February 15, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in InfoSec & Privacy, Risk & Risk Management.
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I have discussed the challenges of security & convenience for some time.  The latest news regarding the 10 year breach of Nortel gave me new fodder for the discussion.

Whether we are discussing information security, physical security, operational security (to name a few) the concepts of security & convenience are diametrically opposed. When we talk of convenience we can include operational efficiency in the discussion.  Consider a companies like Nortel with a large IT infrastructure.  One one side of the discussion is the IT department.  They are constantly hearing about how they need 99.999 uptime and faster systems.  In the payment card industry where transaction times are critical additional latency can be problematic.  They also hear over and over about how someone needs more access to more data.   (more…)

Nortel Network Compromised for a Decade; Chinese Suspected February 14, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, InfoSec & Privacy, Risk & Risk Management.
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According to MSNBC, Nortel’s network was open to hackers since at least 2000.  It is suspected that the hackers are Chinese.  The data thieves appear to have had nearly “unfettered access” to the network and were able to download: ” “technical papers, research-and-development reports, business plans, employee emails and other documents.”  How did they access the network?  Simple. (more…)

Vetting Armed Security Providers February 13, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Risk & Risk Management.
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Nexus Consulting’s CEO, Kevin Doherty was kind enough to let me post a questionnaire his company developed specifically for companies considering the use of armed security on ships.  Nexus has conducted hundreds of transits through the Gulf of Aden and is one of the original maritime security companies and currently one of only 3 companies in the US that work with US Flagged vessels.  Please download the document here.

Nigerian Pirates Kill 2 in Attack on Cargo Ship February 13, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Industry News, Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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In the increasingly dangerous waters off of West Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigerian pirates attacked a cargo ship and killed the captain and chief engineer.  This attacks comes on the heels of another attack off the coast of Benin last Thursday.  The attack took place about 110 nautical miles off the coast of Lagos.  Read the story here.

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