With aviation cybersecurity being scrutinized more than ever, much attention is being placed on the air traffic control industry.
Concern over air traffic controllers in regards to aviation cybersecurity stems from the continued digitization of the air traffic controllers industry.
Air traffic control is vital in aviation. Air traffic controllers are the coordinators which direct and guide airplanes from taking-off to landing. In big airports where planes take off or land every 45 seconds in average, disruption of ATC operations could have serious or even dramatic effects on the safety of the passengers of the nearby airplanes. Moreover, in such airports, ATC personnel losing control on planes has all chances to lead to a disaster.
Cyber-attacks are almost always based on flaws, defects existing in the logic of programs or protocols. Digital technology is very powerful but totalizes a very big amount of different layers and components, all interacting with each other.
While an analog signal can be relatively simple to code or decode, a network protocol can be incredibly complex and involves dozens of layers. Each of these layers can be potentially attacked.
With computers and programs it’s even worse. There are many stacks in a machine. Often these stacks are unprotected or have open flanks for intrusion.
Aviation analysts often suggest that greater safeguards need to be introduced to the global Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems in order to reduce aviation cybersecurity risks.
ATM is an aviation term encompassing all systems that assist aircraft to depart from an aerodrome, transit airspace, and land at a destination aerodrome, including air traffic control (ATC), air traffic services (ATS), airspace management (ASM), and air traffic flow and capacity management.
The challenge of making aviation systems cyber-resilient no doubt requires a multilayer solution. Also, the hope is that AI technology will help.
In aviation cybersecurity operations of the future, AI may contribute to the automation of cyber-defenses in areas such as vulnerability identification, predicting the evolution of threats, and adaptively mitigating attacks in real time.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Aviation Cybersecurity Airworthiness Certification, a 3-day course that introduces participants to the aviation industry’s best practices cybersecurity risk assessment, analysis, development, mitigation and assurance.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly three dozen more courses in Cybersecurity Foundation. This includes cutting edge courses like:
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