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Cybersecurity Risks: Are you flying safe?

During Aviation Week’s MRO Americas Conference in Atlanta this week, one of the subjects discussed was an indicator of escalating aircraft cybersecurity risks the industry has been facing lately.

Boeing Chief Security Officer Richard Puckett pointed out, “There are increasing interfaces to the airframe both in regulated and unregulated portions of the aircraft.” 

Also, he mentioned we have to begin to account for the extended connectivity ecosystem, such as increasing requests for sensors on almost every working part of the aircraft, making it more efficient. However, he alerted that it also makes it more vulnerable.

A cybersecurity intelligence nonprofit called Aviation ISAC alerts: “Without a doubt, the threat side of this equation is increasing.”

For that reason, good aircraft maintenance is crucial to ensuring their safe operation with what we already have nowadays. 

Aircraft maintenance involves regular inspections, repairs, and component replacements to ensure the plane is safe and operational.

Good maintenance practices help to identify potential issues before they become a safety risk, reducing the likelihood of accidents and incidents.

In addition to regular maintenance, aircraft companies must ensure their systems are secure from cyber-attacks; this involves implementing cybersecurity protocols and regularly updating and patching software to address potential vulnerabilities.

To mitigate the risks of cyber-attacks, aircraft companies must ensure that their maintenance practices and cybersecurity protocols are integrated and comprehensive.


The importance of good maintenance and cybersecurity protocols in ensuring safe aircraft operation is underscored by several high-profile incidents in recent years, including the 2018 hack of an airline’s reservation system, which compromised the personal data of millions of passengers, and the 2019 grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX following two software-fault crashes.


To mitigate cyber-attack risks, aircraft companies must ensure that their maintenance practices and cybersecurity protocols are integrated and comprehensive; this includes ensuring that aircraft components and systems are inspected for signs of tampering or other malicious activity.

Good maintenance practices are essential to ensuring safe aircraft operation, especially in a world with increasing cybersecurity risks. By integrating cybersecurity protocols into their maintenance practices, aircraft companies can minimize the risk of cyber-attacks and ensure that their aircraft are safe and secure.