Despite the aviation industry going through a considerable transformation over the last few years, certain priorities remain the same. With a new chapter underway, cybersecurity continues to be the top airline technology investment.
SITA, the IT provider for the air transport industry, released findings from industry surveys conducted last year. The research looks into developing IT trends and the role of technology in aiding the market’s recovery from the global health crisis.
While sectors such as biometrics, sustainability, and digital verification remain high on the agenda, cybersecurity remains the top priority for aviation stakeholders.
Altogether, every single airline is investing in cybersecurity initiatives. A whopping 100% of carriers have or are planning major programs in this field by 2024.
In comparison, while maintenance is naturally a critical department for operators, only 86% of them are planning major IT aircraft maintenance programs. Passenger mobile app services are a higher priority across the airline industry, with 88% of carriers concentrating on projects here.
Just behind cybersecurity in the pecking order are cloud services. In total, 95% of airlines are focused on cloud initiatives. Cloud computing also complements cybersecurity efforts due to the privacy and stability benefits of the technology. For instance, Korean Air recently spoke about the advantages of the company taking a complete leap to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Across the spectrum
It’s not only airlines that see the importance of cybersecurity. It remains at the top of the list for airports, with similar trends being seen on the ground.
“Due to the increasing dependence on technology, digital services, and remote work patterns, it is not a surprise to see cybersecurity initiatives (94% of airports investing), cloud services (86%), and inhouse virtual and remote IT services (83%) as high priorities for airports over the next three years. As the industry enters the recovery phase, airports are also placing new IT services at the forefront as they focus on offering seamless health and safety solutions to enhance the passenger experience, while optimizing resources and infrastructure as air traffic picks up but remains volatile,” SITA shares in its 2021 Air Transport IT Insights report.
“Airports have identified self-service processes (84% of airports with investment plans) and touchless solutions for both passengers and staff (83%) as key for boosting the safety and efficiency of airport touchpoints.
The internet of Things (IoT) is also increasing in prominence, with 83% of airports looking to invest to make the passenger journey more seamless. Beacons, sensors, and personalized notifications can combine to make the experience far more user-friendly.
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A clear necessity
Overall, we’ve seen several cyberattacks reported across the aviation industry in recent years. SITA itself reported early last year that it was the victim of a cyberattack, potentially impacting numerous airlines around the world. We saw several other breaches throughout the year, including attacks in Iran, Thailand, Malaysia, and India.
As security technology advances, airlines and airports will be keen to deploy the latest updates. Therefore, while the threat of attack remains high, so will investments in defenses.
What are your thoughts about cybersecurity continuing to hold priority for airlines and airports in the next chapter of aviation? What do you make of the overall prospects in this field? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.