As a longtime reader of Aviation Security Intl. you have surely seen the note from previous editor, Philip Baum, announcing his departure. I want to take this moment to acknowledge Philip’s long, stellar tenure as editor-in-chief of the former iteration of this publication and to thank him for his passion and dedication during the past two decades. Philip’s expertise in avsec is undisputed and remarkable. He is already missed and his loss is palpable. As I said to him in the transition, there is only one Philip Baum and no one can replace him.
Still, here we are, at a crossroads, with a new mission and direction. So, while I don’t imagine replacing anyone, I do look forward to forging ahead in pursuit of something new. Our new mission is coverage of security in all modes of transportation.
Of course, aviation security will still be at the forefront of our coverage and we are grateful to have the catalogue of previous issues for reference, foundation and the standard. But we are looking forward to creating a new publication with new ideas, new readers and new coverage. Although I will mention that we do have Philip Baum’s guidance going forward, at least for a while, for which we are grateful.
The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects is the definition of synergy. We believe that there is much to learn from the different sectors of transportation security and that shared knowledge begets greater understanding — synergy. So we are off in pursuit of that greater sum.
Some may say that our expanded coverage of other modes of transportation will have nothing to do with one another. I beg to disagree. There is a proverb that says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Tech great Steve Jobs knew collaboration was key as well. He often looked to design aspects of his business that would lead to collaboration. He was a big believer in the power of accidental mingling. Creative thinking is not always meant to be a solo process.
Our concept is to share information between security professionals in all modes of transportation in an effort to help spark those collaborations and the creative flow of improvement, even if by small increments. Small changes can add up to a large impact. Ideas get better when they are fueled by other ideas. Ideas are meant to be shared and discussed; redefined and molded as blacksmiths work over a flame. All alone ideas can become stale, old. So we hope to spark that flame of creativity, of continuous improvement and of knowledge. Perhaps an avsec professional reading about changes or trends in rail security will lead to new ideas. Maybe a maritime security professional reading about ground transport security breaches will see a trend that tips them off to necessary changes in their work. This is our hope and goal. No siloes. A joint, collaborative source for transport security information.
In our first issue, we start right in with a look at the cybersecurity challenges facing the maritime shipping industry. After June 2017 NotPetya attack on Ukrainian targets that spread and hit international companies costing hundreds of millions in lost revenue and data, most shipping companies got a wake-up call about this type of breach on their IT systems. But what about operational technology (OT) environments? Our writer Andrew Reilly spoke with experts in the cybersecurity world that offer insights into what can happen with OT environments and how to protect these systems. Read that story on page 28.
Next, we take a look at how things have changed in various modes of mass transit like rail, subway and bussing. For example, attacks of bus drivers has only gotten worse over time. Our writer, James Careless says this state of affairs was bad enough before COVID-19 occurred, but since then matters have only gotten worse. Careless takes look around the globe at mass transit systems and how they are working to improve security at stations, depots and onboard. That story starts on page 36.
Kathryn Creedy examines a horrific trend in terrorism: the use of road vehicles — trucks, cars, vans — as weapons. The first vehicle ramming attack (VRA) was reported in the 1970s and have been on the rise ever since due to their accessibility and relative low-cost to fund. Creedy looks at numerous incidents and what can be learned from them as a whole, to plan and prevent them from occurring. Or if they do happen, how to minimize the damage. Throughout the piece is guidance from Homeland Security Vehicle Ramming – Action Guide. See that story on page 48.
And last, but not least, we have two pieces in our aviation security sector. The first is a look at the impact of the US elections and resulting fallout such as the January 6th Capitol breach and how these things are impacting passengers and airline security. It is written by former ASI sub-editor, Alexandra James and we are grateful to have her clear-eyed view of the struggles we face in the US. No one is immune, however, as we return to a truly global economy once the COVID crisis subsides. See her story on page 16. Our second avsec feature is a look at airport policing during the last 40 years — the changes and challenges written by Robert Raffel, a law enforcement professional with firsthand knowledge of the chinks in the armor at airports. You’ll find Raffel’s look back on page 22.
Thank you for joining us and reading this inaugural issue of TSI. We look forward to your feedback and ideas. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts.