How to Protect Your Avionics Equipment from Cybersecurity Threats

How to Protect Your Avionics Equipment from Cybersecurity Threats
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The world of cybercrime is advancing every day.

Hackers are getting smarter, the technology is getting better, and the threats to our lives and stability are getting bigger. Any system which has a network or uses the internet is potentially at risk of a cybersecurity threat.

Even the world of avionics equipment isn’t safe. If you have technology vital for flying a plane, it’s at risk, which is why learning how to protect your avionics equipment from threats is critical.

So, how do you protect avionics equipment from cybersecurity threats? Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take.


#1 – Identify Areas of Weakness

The first thing you should do is to identify areas of weaknesses from a security perspective.

A lot of avionics equipment will operate on a network. This network will be how all the equipment communicates and shares information about the status of the plane.

Like any network, this can be exploited if there are areas of weakness inside the network or the system. A place where security isn’t as strong or a piece of equipment that hasn’t been added to the system just yet can be a significant weakness that attackers will exploit.

To adequately safeguard your avionics equipment, you need to look at areas where the system isn’t as reinforced, and they need to be where you focus your efforts.

#2 – Install Anti-Virus/Protection Software

All of the equipment that you use onboard a flight needs to be protected. In a modern plane, you’ll find a system that allows all of the parts to communicate with one another. Therefore, it needs adequate protection.

You need to make sure that you’ve gone in for modern anti-virus protection to compensate for this interconnectivity and mitigate the risk that comes from shutting down the whole system.

Fortunately, there are many different providers out there who can all give you the resources you need. For example, you’ve got providers like Siemens, who have a branch of their services dedicated to avionics, and CCX Technologies, focusing specifically on avionics for military and commercial use.

Finding the right provider isn’t easy, of course. It would help if you were prepared to shop around and take a look at what’s on offer. Your chosen package needs to be comprehensive enough, so let’s take a quick look at some of the considerations for picking a provider together:

  • Budget. How critical is cybersecurity to you? If you’re a commercial airline or one which operates for a niche crowd, it may be less of a consideration to get a comprehensive product.
  • Comprehensiveness. If you’re going to get a good package, how many services are on offer? Do you want just a basic provision of services or something more sophisticated?
  • Flexibility. Can you get a package that is tailored to your specific needs or requirements? Some services are fixed and can’t be changed, whereas others will offer you a customization level.
  • Customer Service. How easy is it to talk to a representative of the company? When you’re getting started with a new package or running into technical difficulties, you’ll want to speak to a professional. How easy it is for you to do that will influence the type of service you go for.

How to Protect Your Avionics Equipment from Cybersecurity Threats 2


#3 – Perform Regular Maintenance

You might think that just because you’ve installed good antivirus software and gotten your weaker areas of security sorted that the problem goes away. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

Just as the internet continues to grow and develop over time, you’ll find that the maintenance you have to do remains a constant part of your life.

You’ll need to look at new software, patch updates, and other similar things to stay up to date in a continuously evolving world and becoming more sophisticated.

Ultimately, this will mean that you’re going to have to keep maintenance as a priority. This will also factor into the kind of system you set up too – is it going to be one that has regular updates? Some providers will focus on improvements more than others.

#4 – Stay Vigilant

Ultimately, the way that you protect your avionics equipment from cybersecurity threats is to stay vigilant. The internet is becoming more and more complicated as time goes on. Because of how things are being done, you have to be alert and on guard for new and potential threats.

You should definitely give your security systems an overhaul once every couple of years and reassess how strong the software is. It’ll really help make sure that you are protecting your avionics equipment from the threat of attackers.

Vigilance is the price we pay for a life that uses the internet and WiFi, and it is essential to remember that crime never takes a break, so ultimately, your security can’t either.


Final Thoughts

So when it comes to protecting yourself and making sure that you get the best possible security for your avionics equipment, you have to be sensible and look at what options you have.

Cybersecurity is a necessary part of everyday life. If you don’t have the tools required to combat the latest technological threats, you will be vulnerable to attacks and potentially compromised safety. Therefore, you must look into a proper protection system.

Avionics equipment has never been more interconnected. The problem with a system that works in tandem throughout all of its parts is that one compromised unit could lead to the entire system suffering a crisis. Therefore, you have to ensure that you are correctly guarding your avionics equipment by having the correct type of software to protect it.

Remember to stay vigilant. The growing sophistication of online attacks means that you can never be complacent when introducing and maintaining a security system. Ultimately, for your avionics equipment to function correctly, you have to protect it externally and internally.

Thank you for reading!