SUNY Maritime to host security conference

The following is the text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) – Google is working on a self-driving car, while hackers are working to break into the car systems. Rolls-Royce is working on autonomous ships, and it’s inevitable that hackers will test their skills in those systems as well, if they aren’t already.

Security and cybersecurity are increasingly complicated fields, and maritime security breaches can be extraordinarily dangerous and expensive.

“Every day, thousands and thousands of containers come into the United States and it’s impossible to know exactly what is coming in them,” said Jeffrey Weiss, a maritime lawyer and professor in SUNY Maritime College’s international transportation management graduate program. “It’s a major concern — somebody could go so far to slip in a dirty bomb.”

Weiss is one of four faculty members at SUNY Maritime hosting a maritime security conference Nov. 10 to discuss the industry’s looming security and cybersecurity challenges. The event’s other organizers are Larry Howard, a shipping logistics expert and humanities professor; Capt. Joseph Ahlstrom, a maritime transportation professor; and Dennis Cooney, maritime lawyer and professor in the college global business and transportation department.

“Years ago I worked for a shipping company on the 23rd floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center,” Howard said. “We moved to Jersey City five months before the first attack on the center. I’ve always committed myself to the idea that that kind of situation should never happen again. That fuels my interest in security.”

The conference will include presentations from academics and industry leaders about a variety of maritime security issues. Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, college president, and Joseph Hoffman, provost, will speak.

The opening keynote address will be from Howard Firemen, the chief technology officer and vice president of nautical systems at the American Bureau of Shipping, which is the leading classification organization in the country.

The conference is free and open to the public.

It will be in the college’s Maritime Academic Center, 6 Pennyfield Ave., Throggs Neck, N.Y.

By Professional Mariner Staff