All airlines face the same struggles and risk as many other organizations and companies. Threats affecting email, files servers, databases, website and applications are inherently at risk. However another major cyber security concern for airlines is the company reputation. No airlines, big or small, wishes to have their brand associated with hacking. In fact, a large majority of cyberattacks do not intend to compromise critical avionic systems or gain control over the aircraft. The more likely scenario is to have In-Flight Entertainment systems (IFE) or on-board Wi-Fi connectivity taken over by attackers.
For the airline industry, cybersecurity continues to grow as a major concern. However, business and technology in the aviation industry are changing faster than ever before, and companies need to follow the trend to stay competitive.
Beyond the traditional cyber threats that threaten every company, For the aviation industry specifically, threats include:
- Aircraft operations
- Aircraft avionics, entertainment system.
- Reservation system.
- Electronic flight bag.
- Flight operations system.
- Aircraft technical records.
- Air traffic control/air navigation service provision.
- Airport infrastructure.
- Manufacturer’s maintenance records.
- Supply chain.
- Corporate IT system.
Any of these can have a devastating impact to an aviation company, and for smaller organizations could lead to large financial losses and possible impactful disruptions to service.
There are many resources specific to aviation that are available to airlines and other aviation companies. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides guidance and tools including an information repository . The International Air Transport Association(IATA) has numerous initiatives including a Toolkit available to members.
Even with these tools though, airlines, particularly smaller ones without dedicated security teams, should look for guidance from cybersecurity professionals who can provide guidance and leadership to help combat the threats to each airline and its organization.
RiskAware is a boutique Cybersecurity firm, specializing in Security Governance and Strategy, assisting organizations of all sizes with security and risk advisory services and security-on-demand capabilities.