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PA IN THE MEDIA

Cyber risks rise at airports

Computer Business Review reports on PA Consulting Group’s research which shows that a more “unified” technological passenger airport experience is posing greater cyber risks for airports.

The article notes that the European Aviation Safety Agency has reported over 1000 cyber-attacks each month on aviation systems and that PA’s research suggested the number is most likely to increase with advancing digitalisation passenger engagement.

PA’s “Overcome the Silent Threat” report claims that “advancing technology such as smart boarding gates and biometric immigration controls” may “expose airports to new risks and unknown threats”. Shrina writes that the report’s authors called for a “single point of accountability” for cybersecurity at airports: “Organisations should nominate a board member to be responsible for cybersecurity”, they urged, adding that while vendors and integrators are getting better at providing product security, organisations still need to prioritise cybersecurity as a tender assessment factor.

The article notes other points made in the report – that there are other weak points, such as the replacement of humans with digital instructions, meaning the pilot potentially cannot recognise if instructions such as false clearance messages are suspicious, causing more opportunity for cyber-terrorism.

Shrina writes that as airports are an interesting target for criminal and terrorist organisations with previous occasions of hijacking, protestors and terminal shootings happening around the globe. She adds that PA’s report explains that cyber resilience is another key factor that C-level airport leaders must continuously govern to prevent dangerous incidents.

Shrina’s article also includes information from PA’s review of four major international airports, and says that PA identifies three key spaces in the aviation industry that must be researched further to avoid costly disruption and potentially, worse:

  • information security has to be given the same attention as physical and personnel security to build strategical cyber security resilience
  • operational technologies such as bagging handling equipment are just as significant as IT systems when analysing how disruption can be prevented to airport passengers, operations and other international airports
  • aviation is far-off other industries on cyber security and must find material from sources such as the energy sector to learn more information.

Read the full article on Computer Business Review

Overcome the silent threat

Download the report

Contact the aviation cyber security team

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