Book Review - Port Security Management

Physical Security
Book Review: Port Security Management
 

CRC Press; available from ASIS; item #2196; 376 pages; $90 (ASIS members); $99 (nonmembers).

This authoritative and comprehensive work looks at the significant components involved in managing the security of maritime transport and port facilities. It offers an over­view of international conventions on maritime security and delves into the spectrum of threats facing the maritime sector, such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, hazardous materials, criminality, workplace violence, economic espionage, and the new threat of cyber sabotage. It also explains how to manage port-related threat intelligence and apply risk management methodologies. 

The author outlines the responsibilities of security managers, such as coordinating port security with local and federal security agencies and managing and training security personnel. Modern technology is covered, including components of access control, sonar, and CCTV.

All the book’s chapters are useful, but this reviewer found Chapter 4, “Port Security as a Risk Management Activity,” especially valuable. It discusses a variety of risk assessments of maritime transport assets and port facilities. Following a discussion of three different risk assessment methodologies—design-basis threat, catastrophe modeling, and levels of probability—author Kenneth Chris­to­pher presents the components of a security survey. These include identifying one’s assets, establishing the criticality of those assets, and determining their vulnerability to determine the probability or likelihood that a particular hazardous event or occurrence might compromise the security of the maritime transport or port facility’s assets. Such risk assessment, Christopher writes, can be quantified against identified assets as: R (risk) = C (criticality) x V (vulnerability) x P (probability). 

Once an asset’s overall level of risk is quantified, he concludes, the allocation of a security manager’s resources to mitigate such risk will be based on the anticipated outcomes of the possibility of harm or loss produced by the particular threats against it. Once these risk assessment steps are completed, “port management can objectively quantify and prioritize the risks to the port and begin to conceptualize and initiate the [facility security plan].” 

Each chapter concludes with a summary, key points, and reference resources. The volume also includes a glossary of terms and organizational resources, plus an extensive bibliography. The author is associate professor of criminal justice at Park University, Parkville, Missouri, and has previously worked with the U.S. Maritime Administration in curriculum development and instruction. All those involved in maritime transport and port security will benefit from this informative, authoritative reference and will find it useful in their daily work.

Dr. Joshua Sinai is director of analytics and business intelligence at Resilient Corporation, in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Active Shooter–A Handbook on Prevention, published by ASIS International.