Airlines are making cyber security a higher priority with 91% planning to invest in programs over the next three years.
The latest Airline IT Trends Survey from SITA shows the figure is up from three years when only 47% said they were making "advanced preparations to manage cyber risks."
The study shows almost half of airlines (48%) think they are prepared for the common types of cyber threats compared to three years ago when only 17% believed this was true. In addition, almost a quarter (24%) now see themselves as "robustly prepared" to deal with any type of cyber threat compared to only 5% in 2013.
So, why such a hot topic now?
You only have to look at headlines in recent months to see the increase in cyber attacks and added to that, experts say the growing number of devices used in and around airports means an increased risk. And, as attacks increase, trust in brands from consumers decreases.
Aviation and security experts gathered at the recent ATIS 2016 said that "in 2016 it's not about if you're going to be hacked, it's when."
A gloomy thought perhaps but one of those experts, Dr. Simon Moores pointed out that last year half a billion records were stolen which, he said, suggests that businesses could suffer an attack up to three times a year.
At the same session, Faye Francy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center added that it "costs little to create a really disruptive event."
And, Los Angeles World Airports information chief Dominic Nessi, shared a 10-step plan which includes elements such as sharing information and sponsoring research and development in the area.
Cyber security is not the only hot topic to be highlighted in the latest Airline IT Trends report with further insight including:
- 68% of airlines are investing in IoT programs in the next three years
- 46% believe IoT investment in connected aircraft will mean a better experience
- Today 37% operated connected airlines rising to two-thirds by 2019.
- Passenger services via smartphone and tablet are top areas for investment with 79% of carriers planning major investment in the former and 71% in tablets.
Wearables continue to gain attention albeit with slow progress and smart glasses and watches are seen as having the most potential.
As per the above slide, 40% of airlines plan to invest in wearables for staff in the next five years. In addition, almost 40% plan investment in wearable-enabled services for passengers in the same period of time.
Machines are in, as passengers seek self-service technology throughout the journey
NB: Cyber security image from Leo Wolfert for Big Stock Photo.