Cybersecurity in airports is a topic that isn’t going away; in fact, it is only gaining in importance as the industry comes together to build more comprehensive cybersecurity programs. Aviation industry groups have recognized this need for both airlines and airports and are working on initiatives focused on preventing cyber attacks.

ACI World has seen a growth in the adoption of cybersecurity measures from highly regulated geographic regions and the topic has been a hot one in their executive meetings. We recently had the opportunity to connect with Antoine Rostworowski, Deputy Director General, Programmes and Services at ACI World for his thoughts on cybersecurity and airports.

Here is what he had to say:

Connected Aviation Editors (CAT): Tell me about the current state of cybersecurity in airports today.

Cybersecurity in Airports

Antoine Rostworowski, Deputy Director General, Programmes and Services at ACI World

Antoine Rostworowski, ACI World (Rostworowski): Cybersecurity measures vary from airport to airport. Many Europeans airports are heavily regulated by their governments regarding cybersecurity, so they have already developed and implemented a cybersecurity program. Other non-regulated airports have also implemented measures, yet it is based on their maturity-level and knowledge of technology.

CAT Editors: Have you found that ACI World members see cybersecurity on the list of top priorities?

Rostworowski: Cybersecurity is an important concern for airports and a top priority for ACI World. This topic was heavily discussed at last year’s ACI World Governing Board meeting in Mauritius. Board members requested ACI World continue to develop various airport cybersecurity support tools to help airports protect their assets and infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

ACI World has already developed certain support tools that are available to its members, such as the Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool, as well as training.  We are currently developing additional tools to continue helping airports in various ways regarding cyber threats. Such additional tools will include new training courses, workshops, and a cybersecurity handbook.  In addition, ACI World has already signed an agreement with Munich Airport’s IT Security Hub to offer cybersecurity courses under the ACI Global Training Accredited Institute. As for the IT Security Benchmarking, this tool is available and ready for use by all airports.

ACI World is also working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to align the Airport Cybersecurity Programme with other Aviation Stakeholders’ Cybersecurity initiatives.

CAT Editors: Are there currently any standards or resources in place to help airports bolster their current cybersecurity practices? Does ACI World have a role here?

Rostworowski: Although there are different cybersecurity standards (National Institute of Standards and Technology-NIST, and International Organization for Standardization-ISO), ACI World will leverage both, as they complement each other. That said, the Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool is based on ISO 27002 standard.

CAT Editors: How do you see cybersecurity in airports evolving in the future?

Rostworowski: With the increasing importance and proliferation of digital, we believe cybersecurity is a key component for airports of the future.

Interested in contributing your expertise on Connected Aviation Today? Reach out to our editorial team here. You can stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices in connected aviation by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Twitter.

Shany Seawright

About Shany Seawright

A senior executive at Strategic Communications Group and Managing Editor of Connected Aviation Today, as well as other publications, Seawright oversees the editorial direction of the publication and managed the editorial staff.