Piracy problem presents opportunities for security firms

Dec. 12, 2008

Attacks by pirates against shipping vessels in the Gulf of Aden has gotten a lot of press in recent weeks and much of it deservedly so, being that the bandits have shown they have the capability to take on targets that were once believed to be out of their grasp. 

In fact, according to a recent AP story by John Heilprin, the U.S. is floating a draft of a proposal in the UN Security Council, which calls for nations and groups working with the Somalian government to take the fight to the pirates not just at sea, but also on land and in the air.

SIW Editor Geoff Kohl recently spoke with Corey Ranslem, CEO of Secure Waters, a Florida-based security and risk consultancy firm, who said that while there has always been random incidents of piracy in the region, today's hijackers seem to be more organized, which could account for why they are targeting vessels outside their normal range of capabilities.

Given the fact that shippers, for various reasons, have no choice but to sail through these dangerous waters, I believe that there is an abundance of opportunities here for physical security firms, as well as product manufacturers to capitalize.

Ranslem indicated that while posting armed security details on-board ships may not always be prudent, physical security firms can provide services to shippers in other ways such as by teaching their crews different evasive maneuvers and other techniques that can help them evade a hijacking attempt.

Opportunities also abound for some manufacturers, whose infrared and radar solutions can be used to help detect suspected pirates from afar, giving the captain and his crew adequate time to respond and take appropriate action.

With the political and economic instability in the region, piracy doesn't seem to be a threat that will disappear anytime soon, which means the market for security firms will remain viable for sometime to come. 

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