Digitalization exposes aviation to threats arising from both internal and external fronts: increased use of smart devices from travellers and employees and the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) into industrial control systems in commercial aviation facilities. On top of these existing trends, innovation will lead to a hyper-connected reality in which some critical assets that are currently segregated will be interconnected. Aircraft, airports, airlines, MRO and ANSPs will become a fully integrated ecosystem. In this context, a vulnerability on weakly protected non-critical assets may lead to an overall failure of the aviation ecosystem.
These risks cannot be eliminated, but they can be reduced through application of industry standards and best practices and the implementation of a cybersecurity management system. The importance of physical security in aviation, especially since 9/11, is now understood and accepted. It is not yet the case of cyber security. Cyber security is not yet engraved in people’s DNA. Creating and developing this culture requires strong leadership from managers as it is the only way to face these future challenges efficiently.