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Home > Reviews > Maritime Security: An Introduction

Maritime Security: An Introduction

Author Michael McNicholas

ISBN No 9780128036723

Review date 26/06/2019

No of pages 528

Publisher Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier)

Publisher URL

Year of publication 02/08/2016


Maritime Security: An Introduction, Second Edition by Michael McNicholas. Published 2016 by Butterworth-Heinemann, 528 pages, ISBN 9780128036723, print or ebook £64.60.

Our Review


£ 64.60

Whether import or export, whatever your place in the supply chain, and whether you want to prevent bad things coming in or out - such as illegal drugs, or trafficked people - or want to protect your assets such as raw materials or finished goods from theft, maritime security matters to you, even if you don’t work in sight or land or have a port or ship as part of your responsibility. As featured in the August 2016 print issue of Professional Security, theft of high-value vehicles from the UK has become an organised and international business, with cars in one piece or stripped for their parts sent to Africa, with paperwork.

Former CIA man Michael McNicholas has written a long book, only he has so much ground to cover: documentation for cargo, the regulations that ports and shipping are working to (including Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, C-TPAT and ISPS that came in after the 9-11 attacks on the United States). McNicholas therefore is well into the book before he reaches what he calls the ‘perils of the seas’, such as pirates and stowaways; drug smuggling; and the ‘targeting and usage of commercial ships and ports by terrorists and transnational criminals’, which prompted the efforts for international security after 9-11. As for cyber, McNicholas notes that such attacks generally have been increasing in number and sophistication, to steal data and harm physical machinery; big ships, such as those carrying oil and gas, are he admits particularly vulnerable. Given that the maritime sector thanks to its IT security ignorance makes an easy target, you might ask why maritime has not suffered a high-profile hacking yet. As for threat mitigation, McNicholas talks among other things of risk management, while admitting it’s very hard to assess what the real risks are; and the ‘intelligence cycle’, based on the CIA’s model.