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Don't be complacent about cybersecurity

Published on  06 July by Michael Schellenberg , Director, Integration and Services, SITA
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No industry or country in the world is safe

Here’s a simple observation which businesses and organizations ignore at their peril: cyberattacks are now mainstream.

The recent WannaCry and Petya attacks have highlighted that no industry or country in the world is safe and these cybercrimes currently dominating international news headlines shows the proliferation of attacks shows no signs of abating. The total cost of cybercrime in 2016 to the global economy was said to be over $450 billion1.

It’s no longer a ‘what if’ but a ‘when’ for most companies but that’s not to say you can’t fend off attacks when they do come. The air transport industry has largely gone unscathed but we should not be complacent about the very real threat and the huge knock-on effects it could have on an industry as interwoven as ours. Layers upon layers of infrastructure could be impacted, with the consequences on global travel reverberating across the world.

Many air transport companies already have robust cybersecurity measures in place while those that do not are taking firm steps to put them in place. In fact, our 2016 Airline IT Trends survey showed that 91% of respondents planned to invest in cybersecurity programs over the next three years and 63% said cybersecurity was a board level responsibility at their airline. In addition, 94% of airports said they’re investing in cybersecurity incident response management.

But in the rush to address the growing cyber threat, it was clear the air transport industry lacked an offering tailored to industry-specific attacks. Airbus and SITA have launched new a CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center, an incident detection service which will provide airlines, airports and other air transport industry stakeholders with information about unusual cyber activity that may impact their businesses.

At the same time, other services will provide appropriate containment and remedial action to ensure a company’s digital assets are always secure, even during an attack.

SITA and Airbus are a formidable duo. While SITA’s customers include almost every airline and airport in the world, Airbus has significant experience working with companies, critical national infrastructures, governments and defense organizations to detect, analyze and counter increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

The Airbus-SITA CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center is just a single project in a wider portfolio of products and services that SITA is making available to customers. The portfolio is based on four key pillars: audit, protect, detect and respond. By identifying and auditing a company’s cybersecurity risks, companies can protect their assets, detect potential cyberthreats and respond to them as necessary.

The nature of ever-changing threats requires constant collaboration and innovation. SITA and Airbus are uniquely placed at the heart of the air transport industry where, together, we can facilitate the sort of information-sharing that underpins effective cybersecurity. 

Find more information about SITA and Airbus CyberSecurity here.

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