The business aviation community needs to become involved in an effort to develop broad global strategies to guard against cyber threats, a top International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) official said. Stephen Creamer, director of the Air Navigation Bureau for ICAO, made that appeal to attendees of this month’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, noting that the issue has moved to the forefront for ICAO as machine-to-machine interface becomes commonplace in aircraft and air traffic control communications. “We have to protect all of those systems,” he said.
The issue has become such an area of focus that ICAO earlier this month held its first Cyber Summit and Exhibition in Dubai to provide a venue for states, industry and other interested parties to hold a high-level strategic dialog on current and future cyber concerns.
During the summit, ICAO unveiled a declaration that provided a framework for addressing cyber risks. The declaration noted that the states have responsibility to mitigate cyber risks and must be considered in collaboration between states and other stakeholders. The declaration also stated that cybersecurity matters should be “fully considered and coordinated across all relevant disciplines with state aviation authorities.”
“New and more sophisticated digital technologies and processes are coming online daily, it seems, impacting as they do, our network and its relationships with shippers and the traveling public,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the ICAO Council, in announcing the declaration. “What this means for cybersecurity and cybersafety stakeholders is that threats are emerging at an ever-increasing rate.”
That resolution followed a resolution adopted during ICAO’s 39th Assembly last October that emphasized an awareness and concern among states over the issue and the need for a broad strategy to address it.
The business aviation community has begun to heighten its own attention on cybersecurity. NBAA also addressed the issue earlier this year at the association’s first-ever NBAA Security Conference, which emphasized the importance of implementing best practices.
Cybersecurity poses the “greatest threat” to companies, NBAA director of information technology Todd Wormington warned attendees at the January conference.