The Current Threats to Superyacht Security
Developments in modern technology are constantly creating new threats for governments, businesses and high-net-worth individuals across the globe. With superyachts often providing an escape for their high-profile owners, what happens when your safe-haven at sea becomes just as susceptible to these threats as your home or business? We speak with two leading firms in the yacht security sector to find out more.
As a generation reliant on the internet to get through day-to-day life, web-related technology has aided both work and leisure time for many people. But these perks don’t come without their flaws. Wifi security, data protection and location tracking are just a few of the wifi-related worries outlined by luxury yacht technology company and experts in the field, VBH.
The company explains; “The biggest challenge in security is the trade-off between a sense of freedom for the owner and security measures that need to be taken, especially visible ones. That said, privacy intrusions are a big threat. Any information that is leaked, can potentially cause harm. Information like where you are, who you are with and what was discussed or agreed. This information can be collected in many ways. Paparazzi, drones, public data about your yacht location and of course access to your IT network and devices.”
Today, it’s so simple to find out owner information including current location, who they are travelling with, and even their topic of conversation. While VBH include the paparazzi in their list of problems, the modern-day threats are a lot harder to detect.
Another problem harder to detect than the paparazzi on their tender with their single lens camera? The Drone. Global marine security system company, MarineGuard put emphasis on the drone as the most intrusive of threats, with emphasis on how cheaply and easily images can be circulated on social media platforms.
MarineGuard elaborated, “Drone sales are predicted to see growth of around 50% in the next year. In the wrong hands they can cause a serious security breach as was witnessed at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports around Christmas 2018. There was also the attempted assassination of the Venezuelan President last August. The use of drones to invade privacy, deploy technology, explosives or even chemical weapons is increasing.”
But have they noticed these kind of threats develop over the years? VBH disclosed that the amount of data available publicly and the means to share it is getting easier. Non surprisingly, this means privacy is becoming more and more difficult. MarineGuard explained, “As access to technology becomes more widespread so is the opportunity to combine technology to create new threats. Drones can be used to hack wireless networks, smart devices etc to gain illegitimate access to sensitive systems and information. Recent years have seen a significant advance in drone endurance, range and payload capacity whilst the price has also plummeted, leading to a proliferation in use.”
But when it comes to technology it’s not all bad news. VBH suggest that developing technology will continue to provide more sophisticated means of detecting, while also offering more possibilities to intrude on privacy. They stated, “The level of security provided is the result of both technology and people behaviour. Technology will continue to provide more sophisticated means of detecting, while also offering more possibilities to intrude on privacy. People are getting increasingly security conscious as well. We offer training to keep people informed.”
So the good news is that there are ways to combat these increasingly intelligent threats. MarineGuard’s security systems provide what they have named a ‘virtual bubble’ around a yacht; capable of noticing changes in the yacht’s security environment. Furthermore, in a notable partnership, MarineGuard were recently approached by Drone Defence, and have now teamed up to address this latest threat to the superyacht market; something we hope can help to protect not only owners, but all those on board.
So while expert teams at VBH and MarineGuard work against the never ending developments in technology to keep our superyachts safe and secure, it seems that for now, as American government official Rand Beers once said, security still remains a precondition to freedom.
"Drone sales are predicted to see growth of around 50% in the next year. In the wrong hands they can cause a serious security breach as was witnessed at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports around Christmas 2018. There was also the attempted assassination of the Venezuelan President last August. The use of drones to invade privacy, deploy technology, explosives or even chemical weapons is increasing."