Cybersecurity is the biggest challenge every business would face in 2020 and is set to have a negative impact on different businesses. Recently, a shipping giant Maersk suffered a loss of close to half a billion dollars in 2017 when the NotPetya sabotageware infected it. The business was not even the target of the sabotageware. Looking at this example, could the same thing happen to the aviation business. Many of the businesses in the aviation sector are worried that this might occur to their business as cyber risk extends even to the planes in the air.  

All the modern aircrafts are flying data centers, consisting of memory units, networking solutions, and applications that access them. These aircrafts fly around the globe, but the aviation industry currently is poorly prepared to protect the passengers from cybersecurity risks, according to a report from the Atlantic Council.

The aviation industry has developed new technologies to gain efficiency, but the businesses have ignored some of the glaring security gaps in their infrastructure. But, over time, as the malicious elements are exploring different sectors, they might stumble on to the aviation sector. There could be a range of problems that could disrupt the land-based systems ranging from malware infection of aircraft to cause the end of the spectrum, which could stop hundreds of aircraft in the air.

Pete Cooper, an aviation Cybersecurity Expert at the Atlantic Council, said that the aircraft security has improved with a more granular approach to data collection. For example, most of the equipment is checked in a cycle, so it means that the service is based on actual operating life and not arbitrary dates/times. It reduces the downtime for the systems drastically. So, if the system suddenly shows a high rate of wear, then the aircraft needs to be checked based on condition. Improved data collection leads to more efficient flight paths, reduces the flight times, improves fuel usage, and reduces CO2 emissions.

Analog systems provide a better system to combat cybersecurity issues, but many of the flawed procedures can lead to pilot errors. The connectivity with digital transformation brought many security issues for aviation security, bringing the flawsof OS.