North P&I Club has partnered with CSO Alliance – a fast-growing online community of maritime company security officers (CSOs) – to encourage its members to join and take part in security-related information sharing. In a first for the P&I sector, all CSOs in North’s 131 million GT owned fleet will receive a 20% reduction in membership fees for the first year and North will subsidise a further 40%.
Founded in the UK in 2012, the CSO Alliance already has over 380 members responsible for security on more than 6, 000 ships worldwide. Members have access to a comprehensive and authoritative real-time incident and attack database and can share information, opinions and best practice. The management team is in regular contact with key naval commands and maritime crime reporting centres, evolving a rapid, co-ordinated response capability.
North deputy loss prevention director Colin Gillespie says, ‘North supports the concept of information sharing on security-related risks, both physical and cyber. As such we believe membership of the CSO Alliance will offer real benefits to CSOs employed by our members, so we have negotiated a subsidised rate for their first year of membership.’
CSO Alliance managing director Mark Sutcliffe says, ‘North has long been one of the most innovative and forward-thinking P&I clubs and we welcome their support. They join BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping and numerous national shipowner associations and security suppliers in supporting our mission to build a scalable, adaptable and durable coalition against organised crime.’
North says membership of the CSO Alliance will assist individual CSOs in the prevention of criminal attacks against their ships, including from piracy, stowaways and fraud. ‘The sharing of security information, opinions and views in a closed, community-based online forum will aid operational efficiency too, ’ says Gillespie. ‘For example, access to maritime crime data allows port risk assessments to be produced more cost-effectively.’
With maritime cyber security moving further up the regulatory agenda, North says the CSO Alliance also provides an ideal forum for CSOs to explore and discuss the technological issues relating to this new area of fraud and operational disruption. ‘Above all we believe membership of the CSO Alliance will increase knowledge and assist professional development of CSOs through international workshops, video conferencing, newsletters and online information exchange.’