ISSN 2330-717X

Multistakeholder Mobilization To Reinforce Cyber Resilience In Global Aviation

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the way airlines and airports do business. The advancement of technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet of things is increasing operational efficiency, but the digital nature of these technologies makes them intrinsically vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure have become the new normal across sectors such as transportation. Globally, their potential cost could be up to $90 trillion in net economic impact by 2030, if cybersecurity efforts do not keep pace with growing interconnectedness, according to the Atlantic Council and the Zurich Insurance Group, among others.

In Advancing Cyber Resilience in Aviation: An Industry Analysis, the World Economic Forum initiative on Building Cyber Resilience in the Aviation Industry aims to define and address some of the salient systemic challenges confronting this industry by:

  1. Increasing awareness and understanding of cyber risks related to the adoption of emerging technologies, and the impact on critical systems
  2. Fostering collaboration across the aviation industry to define a common understanding and approach to risk management that is holistic, risk-based and aligned across the various entities of the aviation industry ecosystem
  3. Helping aviation stakeholders to make informed – hence better – decisions related to cyber risks
  4. Developing an industry-wide approach to cyber resilience with a multistakeholder community in alignment and collaboration with the ICAO Secretariat Study Group on Cybersecurity (SSGC), industry associations and national authorities
  5. Creating market incentives to prioritize capital investment for cybersecurity and resilience

To advance and help build cyber resilience in the aviation industry, the Forum has mobilized a community of experts and key stakeholders from international organizations (International Civil Aviation Organization, Eurocontrol), government entities (European Union Aviation Safety Agency, UK Civil Aviation Authority, Israel National Cyber Directorate), private-sector organizations (aviation, ICT and insurance sectors)  and trade associations (International Air Transport Association, Airport Council International and the Industrial Internet Consortium) to identify challenges and initiatives spearheaded by government and industry entities to enable the development of an aligned global approach.

“The Forum offers a unique platform to bridge and strengthen industry and government collaboration globally to define a joint approach to informing key stakeholders, addressing the most salient challenges and creating a more secure and cyber-resilient ecosystem,” said Georges De Moura, Head of Industry Solutions, Centre for Cybersecurity at the World Economic Forum.

“Abundant broadly-accepted government and industry standards for cybersecurity fall short of what is required to ensure effective defence against cyberattacks in aviation: a common understanding of systemic risks and synchronized consistent quantitative methods for cyber-risk management,” said Karime Kuri TiscarenoProject Lead, IoT, Robotics and Smart Cities, at the World Economic Forum.

“Our ongoing strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum ensures that we can support the aviation sector to mitigate any potential harm and foster a stronger cyber resilience culture across the sector. The launch of this report is the first phase in developing a common approach with the aviation industry to develop effective cyber risk management, and to impart this knowledge across other sectors,” said Adam Garrard, Global Head of Corporate Risk and Broking, Willis Towers Watson. 

A number of requirements, standards and approaches are currently being implemented to assess, manage and mitigate cyber risk, but action and practical solutions must be accelerated to ensure a prosperous, digitalized and cyber-resilient aviation industry.

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