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TSA Tightens Cybersecurity Programs of Airports and Airline Operators, Issues Emergency Amendment

“Cyber 9/11 is coming. Operators must invest in proactive cybersecurity measures”

-Tom Kellermann, SVP of Cyber Strategy at Contrast Security.

Airlines must now develop a TSA-approved implementation plan that describes the measures companies are taking to improve cyber resiliency

Photo: Unsplash

TSA states that they are ”taking this emergency action because of persistent cybersecurity threats against U.S. critical infrastructure, including the aviation sector.”

The new security requirements fall into four fundamental areas:

  1. Network Segmentation and Redundancy

  2. Access Control

  3. Monitoring and Detection of Threats

  4. Timely Patching

As attacks and geopolitical tension have continued to escalate over the years, so have concerns regarding the expansion of 5G and smart devices creating new vulnerabilities in the aviation industry.

The attack surface has expanded more rapidly in this sector than in others, due to the rapid digital transformation of everything from air traffic management systems to the assorted administrative and logistical functions of airports.

Kellerman speaks out that “the guidelines are timely”, and that TSA's "emergency" designation could well be warranted.

"Airports and aircraft operators have been caught in the crosshairs of Russian and Iranian cyber crews. This is why the aviation industry needs to protect all digital controls, because they can and will be hacked.”

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