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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Aviation industry vulnerable to cyber attacks: IATA

PTI  New Delhi, November 17, 2013
First Published: 10:08 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:11 IST(17/11/2013)

Faced with cyber security threats, the aviation industry, which has spent over $100 billion on security since 9/11, should share best practices and partner with governments to adapt to new challenges and tackle them, airlines' body IATA has said.

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Noting that aviation now relies on computer systems for almost every aspect of the business, leaving it potentially vulnerable to cyber attack, IATA asked the industry, governments, regulators and manufacturers to work together to share best practices and mitigation strategies.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also called for a partnership between industry, governments and regulators to enhance aviation security by embracing a globally harmonised, risk-based system.

"We need to be ready for this change in thinking. How should regulators treat this new security dimension, and how can airlines tackle cyber security and airline security as a single unit? Our resources are not infinite," IATA chief Tony Tyler said at a recent global conference on aviation security.

Advocating significant reforms in aviation security culture, the IATA said appropriate training of security specialists was needed by the industry and regulators alike, "while the move from one-size-fits-all to risk-based procedures needs to accelerate."

Asserting that the cost of aviation security needed to be reviewed, with over $100 billion spent by airlines alone since 9/11, the IATA said, "The industry needs to be sure that this money is being well-spent."

Tyler also noted three key areas of improving security cooperation – early collaboration between industry and government, shift to a risk-based approach and enhancing security through a strong and harmonised global system as against adopting disparate approaches.

Maintaining that development of secure cargo chains has been a consequence of the foiled 2010 printer cartridge bomb plot, IATA warned against proliferation of security auditing regimes, with Tyler saying, "it would be better for governments to mutually recognise secure freight programmes" of other countries.


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