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Hacked airports: Is Mexico ready?

Mikel Santos, cyber security expert at PA Consulting, discusses cyber security and airport security measures in Mexico with Forbes.

Click here to read the full Forbes Mexico article in Spanish 

The article notes that cyber security must be reinforced to prevent potential attacks. According to reports by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), there are at least 1000 cyber attacks every month throughout the world. These attacks can target air transport systems in ways that overshadow what has been previously portrayed of cyber crime.

Mikel says: “Mexico lacks an approach to cyber security or physical infrastructures. Airports lack security measures, which is why there should be clear nationwide guidelines and recommendations, as well as strong leadership by the Mexican government in the matter of airport security.”

He adds that while Mexico has not been targeted by cyber attacks, it’s worthwhile to invest in developing a strong cyber-security strategy that involves the cooperation of the Mexican government. “Mexico has largely managed to stay under the radar of cyber attacks and its infrastructure has remained unscathed. Here, there is little concern of cyber attacks — unlike elsewhere in the world, where security teams have prioritized cyber security in the national agenda. The government should push for a stronger approach to ensuring security in existing airports as well as in future projects.”

Meanwhile, cyber security budgets are growing sharply worldwide. Expenses in cyber security for the air transport industry, just as in many other industries, are on the rise. Airlines are spending around 7 percent of their IT budget on cyber-security solutions. In turn, airports are investing over 10 percent of their budgets in cyber security. Nevertheless, cyber security is still far from receiving the investment it requires.

Mikel says: “Mexico must implement best practices in this matter and follow in the footsteps of leading countries. We must think of cyber security as a fundamental aspect that concerns airports as much as it does personal devices or business servers. Ensuring cyber resilience will take strong measures, ongoing support, and maybe even outlining mandatory regulations regarding security standards and risk assessment procedures.”

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PA Consulting Group in Mexico


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