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Aerospace cybersecurity is a growing topic in our industry – and not for the right reasons. With a lack of clear and required regulations, as well as an abundance of data and security risks, aerospace is quickly becoming one of the biggest targets for cybersecurity attacks in the world.
At FTP Today, we help businesses and organizations by providing file-sharing software that is already compliant with government regulations, including those applicable to the aerospace industry. We are experts in helping organizations become compliant and protect essential data.
The aerospace cybersecurity market is continuing to grow and 2020 brings a number of new market trends. In this article, we discuss the top aerospace cybersecurity market trends and their impact they’ll have on the industry as a whole.
When it comes to cybersecurity trends, most people don’t think beyond the digital consequences. Yes – a data breach could lead to loss of money, compromise of sensitive data, and maybe even noncompliance fines and consequences. This is true for many industries. But, when it comes to data breaches in the aerospace industry, lives are at stake.
Consider all the channels a hacker could gain controlling access to on an aircraft – navigation systems, communication systems, and more. The number of possible channels and the level of data sensitivity makes airplanes and other aircraft an alluring target for hackers. And, the vulnerability of these channels makes it hard to protect lives.
Traditional airplanes aren’t the only type of aircraft vulnerable to data breaches. Even the increase in unmanned aircraft – drones in particular – could put lives at risk. Drones can be used to gain access to sensitive information or even weaponized.
Consider the potential damage that could incur if the system of a commercial airline were to be infiltrated by a hacker. Not only could the airplane be stolen, but it could also be weaponized – causing a major loss of human life. Making sure every single piece of technology aligns with regulations is vital – even to the point of saving lives.
Not only will the aerospace industry need to turn its eye to the regulation of new technology, but it will also have to dedicate time and resources to upgrading and regulating existing technology.
This will be a massive undertaking, considering all the tools and solutions currently being used. Every airline computer at every airport in the country. All employee tablets in use. Even the planes themselves. The sheer volume of existing technology makes regulation seem overwhelming.
This year, organizations in the aerospace and defense industries are sure to invest an increasing amount of time and money into securing every device, system, and file possible. All data will need a greater level of protection, not only to keep up with regulatory measures but also to ensure hackers don’t gain access to this valuable information.
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Technology grows more accessible by the day. Smartphones have capabilities that would have been hard to imagine even 20 years ago. And while this growth in accessibility is a benefit in many ways, it has also given hackers an advantage.
Today’s hackers are experts in infiltrating some of the most secure systems and devices. They have an unprecedented number of digital tools at their disposal and the knowhow to breach systems even when precautions are taken.
Businesses across all industries can be the victims of hackers, whether that’s sensitive data theft or holding systems hostage for ransom payments. The aerospace industry is not immune to these kinds of threats. However, there are some threats that are unique to the industry, including events like hacking into an air traffic control or an airplane’s systems for terrorism purposes or theft of cargo.
A data compromise on this scale could cause millions of dollars in damage or result in the loss of life. Because the stakes are so high, aerospace organizations must be more vigilant than ever before when preventing these sophisticated attacks.
Due to all the reasons listed above, expect data security to become synonymous with physical safety. In the past, the industry has been primarily concerned with the physical safety of crew and passengers. Security checks and restrictions of cargo have been the main concern of TSA, the FAA, and organizations in the industry. While it’s still vital to maintain these security measures, new technology-based security measures are a must, too.
Today, a plane can be hijacked from afar, by someone online thousands of miles away. So, the physical security protections we have in place can’t protect against these digital threats. Thus, expect to see organizations in the aerospace industry begin to prioritize cybersecurity in the same way that physical security was made a priority after the September 11, 2001 tragedies.
According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, the state of California lost more than $214 million due to cybercrimes. This demonstrates the massive financial incentive for securing sensitive data in any industry, including the aerospace industry.
This year, anticipate more companies in the industry to invest in data security measures. In fact, the United States is putting stronger security regulations in place to promote cybersecurity, like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, for example. Moreover, the 2019 President’s budget included $15 billion of budget authority to be dedicated to cybersecurity-related activities. Expect for cybersecurity to be a greater focus in the months and years to come.
These trends reveal the need for a greater focus on aerospace cybersecurity than ever before and it’s vital that organizations start considering how to protect their data now. By investing effort now, you can prevent future data breaches.
The most important starting point for organizations looking to get involved in aerospace cybersecurity is to make sure you are compliant with other structured regulations and standards such as NIST and ITAR. And a secure file sharing solution can help.
If you want to start working toward data security compliance, consider downloading our free Compliance Guide now.
Founder of Sharetru (Formerly FTP Today) and a respected voice in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.
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