The need to secure maritime communications has been recognized by naval and law enforcement forces for decades. The ISPS Code (Part B Section 8.3.5) made this one of the key requirements in Ship Security Assessments and required those conducting these assessments to possess knowledge in the protection of radio and telecommunications systems, including computer systems and networks. The on-scene survey covered in Part B Section 8.14 required the examination of operations and controls to ensure that ship security communications, information and equipment remain available. IAMSP is contributing to the advancement of this work through its participation on international working groups, assisting its members with achieving industry-recognized certification, and providing awareness materials and references on this issue.
Advances in technology and the need to improve competitiveness is rapidly driving the shipping industry towards autonomous and remotely-controlled shipping. What does this mean for regulators, shipping companies and those that work within the maritime industry? Is the pace at which these advancements are being pushed to market moving faster that the industry's ability to grasp and address the risks that come with it? IAMSP continues its work to critically examine issues that will have a profound affect on shipping companies and their executives in its series of articles on this subject published in the Maritime Executive.
IAMSP is pleased to announce that the SOLE system is now in its second live testing phase. A true, community driven incident and notification system, the SOLE system combines the efforts and offerings of three companies to create a high-powered incident reporting, analysis and notification tool. The SOLE system consists of the efforts of three communities:
- Solara Remote Data Delivery - the provider of the FT2100 handheld tracking device,
- OceanusLive - the provider of the industry-leading incident notification and awareness portal, and
- Evolutionary Security Management - providing trend and pattern analysis.
The SOLE project application is also overseen by the Association, particularly with respect to the system's ability to assist companies in reporting events covered under Section F of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers.
Enabling the Industry
The SOLE system provides the following capabilities:
- Companies can track their teams, based on set polling periods around the world (the FT2100 already having global coverage)
- Team leaders can communicate back to their reporting center through the system's connection to the Iridium Satellite network,
- Company officials can be notified of alerts or key messages through their own web portal, email, SMS or voice notification system,
- Company officials can communicate with their teams securely, independently of the ship's infrastructure,
- Company officials can, through the OceanusLive portal, receive an Operations center view, saving on time and effort within the operations center, and
- The company can receive updates and assessments on events that take into account stratetic, operational, or even tactical views through the community-based approach.
These benefits are in addition to the company being able to demonstrate, through participation, that it is supporting efforts associated with human rights. The FT2100 comes pre-programmed with a series of notification alerts that allow the operator to communicate events associated with Section F of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers quickly and consistently. Companies receiving this notification then have the ability of taking those steps that are built within their own Standing Operating Procedures (SOP). This is paired with the ability of the Company to use the features of the Solara system to retrieve logs (location and message) for a variety of uses, including being able to clearly demonstrate its compliance with a range of internationally driven best practices and emerging requirements.
This effort demonstrates the value of the one of the key elements of IAMSP - the ability to bring together members within the Association to provide significantly enhanced services or capabilities for the maritime security industry.
Initial questions regarding the SOLE project can be directed through the Association. Questions regarding any one of the three individual companies should be directed to each one individually. Contact details will be provided as part of the next testing benchmark.
IAMSP's Technical Evaluation Team (TET) is pleased to announce that the Solara Field Tracker 2100 has passed the technical vetting process with a score that allows for the Association to fully endorse its use. The fully endorsed status, very rarely achieved, indicates that the FT2100 and its supporting management infrastructure passed in all categories of the technical evaluation test.
This test considered the Field Tracker from the perspective of being able to provide two-way messaging and location monitoring for security teams without having to rely upon ship infrastructure. As has been reported by a significant number of security companies, some ship companies are either unwilling or unable to allow for continuous tracking or communication to security teams. Concurrently, the equipment also allows for command centers to communicate across their full accounts, greatly increasing the security teams' ability to receive warnings of changing threat conditions.
The testing also remarks upon two elements of the FT2100 and its management. These two elements involve a safety feature that allows the unit to be more appropriate for air travel and a refurbishment project that significantly reduces unnecessary waste and environmental impact. Further details regarding these measures are available through the company.
The FT2100 is a real-time GPS tracking system that allows for two-way messaging through the Iridium satellite network and ensuring a global coverage. The equipment is fully portable and ruggedized (MIL STANDARD 810G) for survival in a range of conditions, including the maritime environment.
The unit is also supported by a control panel that is internet enabled through a secured portal, allowing control centers or other monitoring bodies the ability to track multiple units on a single graphic user interface and to coordinate a range of automated or custom messages throughout their full account.
Those that wish further details regarding the SOLARA Field Tracker 2100 are invited to visit the Solara website.
This document describes the core policies, standards, procedures and guildelines associated with the vetting of technology or services on behalf of the organization. It requires that the process be clearly defined by the Association, the appropriate protection of Company proprietary data, the identification of standards in line with best practices (legal, regulatory and industry), and the overall requirements for the Technical Evaluation Team and overseeing member of the Executive to remain free of any financial tie or reward that could be associated with the evaluation.
This system is supported by Technical Evaluation Team working tool, incorporating the 168 contact points and Key Performance Indicators for evaluation.