Securing the Aviation Shop Floor

Question: When is an airport like a shop floor?

Answer: Always.

The shop floor of any manufacturer is where materials like metal, rubber, glass and silicon feed machinery that builds engines, circuit boards, landing gear, #avionics and more. For the #aviation industry, #airports are the shop floor. The airport is the true final assembly point for all products in the aviation industry. The #plane, and all it needs to operate: pilots, crew, passengers, fuel, food, navigational inputs, and more, all meet at the #airport.

Walk onto the shop floor of today’s manufacturers and you will see #automation driving the production. The internet of things is controlling the shop floor’s lights and HVAC. The shop floor equipment is digitally controlled, enabling the flow of materials and the timing of processes. Sensors continuously report temperatures, inventory levels, malfunctions, and status of the machinery.

In much the same way, airports have become #digital hubs. #ICS systems manage the environment from the #terminal to the tarmac to the runway. All systems supporting the airlines, airplanes, and the airports operations are generating essential information. Information necessary to enable operations as well as the raw data used to improve operational efficiency of the airlines, planes, and airports.

If the #network supporting a shop floor goes down, it is a high risk, business-critical event. In the same way, network disruption or failure at an airport is high risk. The ripple effect makes this a high risk for the airlines, the rest of the industry, and their supply chains.

The complexity of managing the risk of a shop floor, or an airport, is growing as the number of digitally enabled systems and sensors exponentially grows. How do you stay on top of your shop floor risk? How do you increase your confidence that all the industrial segments and supply chain components are addressing their portion of shared risk?

This is the mission of the A-ISAC. To reduce risk across the entire industry. We are raising the #cyber skills of air framers, airlines, airports, #satcom providers, and more through communities. The Network Security Architecture Working Group is one of many communities where operational technology experts from across the aviation industry are sharing best practices and crowd sourcing security solutions. They are reducing their risk and enabling the reduction of shared risk in the industry.

Let’s secure the shop floor together.


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