It is High Time Airports and Airlines Take Robust Cybersecurity Measures!

By CIOReview | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The implementation of security operation centers at the airports will enable efficient monitoring, analysis, and response for countering cybersecurity incidents.

FREMONT, CA – The threat of cyberattacks has permeated every sector, often causing loss of thousands and millions of dollars to the victims. Air transport industry is no stranger to this phenomenon.  As a result, it has become imperative for organizations to augment their digital walls with robust cybersecurity measures.

Cybercrime poses an unprecedented threat to the air transport industry owing to the growing reliance on information and communication. In 2016, the EU’s European Aviation Safety Agency acknowledged cybersecurity as a prominent challenge to the aviation industry. However, over the last three years, the cyberattack threat has only increased in scale.

In the era of digitalization, airlines and airports have become prime targets for hackers to launch cyberattacks. They provide high visibility for attackers with terrorist motives because of their close identity with the host country and their potential for massive disruptions. The hackers can gain entry into the complex IT infrastructure adopted in airports through the multitude of entry points.

Airports mostly rely on open communications infrastructure accessed by government agencies, air traffic management, ground handlers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), retailers, and many others. As a result, it faces a significant threat of ransomware, phishing, and other advanced AI-based cyberattacks.

The looming threat has spurred the aviation industry into securing their assets against cyberattacks. Today, organizations are incorporating the latest technology to provide enhanced digital services to their customers. However, securing these technologies and protecting the vast flow of information requires robust cybersecurity systems.

Along with cost-effectively utilizing technology, airports also have to focus on establishing efficient response measures for cyberattacks. Furthermore, stringent regulatory compliance and data privacy regulations have spurred airline organizations to increase their investment in cybersecurity. Often, cyberattacks are considered a business problem regarding their monitory impact on aviation businesses. However, cyberattacks primarily target passengers, airlines, and airports.

Even though cybersecurity is a crucial requirement, the lack of resources, budget, and skills often hinder the adoption. Cybersecurity is unavoidable and requires higher investment by governments as well as organizations involved in the airport operations. A practical solution for airports would be to implement a Security Operations Center (SOC) with the capabilities of detecting, monitoring, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents.