One of the most interesting intersections of information technology and aviation is the field of Cybersecurity. Governments around the world are already concerned about the security of their air traffic control computer systems. Obviously a hacker could do tremendous damage by compromising air traffic control computer systems, and all in-flight digital data exchanges will also need to be protected. The fact is any device that has a processor and is connected to a network (wireless or cabled) is vulnerable to being hacked. This certainly includes the networked computers becoming ever more prevalent in aircraft cockpits, Air Traffic Control (ATC) installations and on pilots` laps.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) certainly believes this is a serious problem. In April 2015 the GAO released a report titled FAA Needs a More Comprehensive Approach to Address Cybersecurity As Agency Transitions to NextGen, which concludes "Modern aircraft are increasingly connected to the Internet. This interconnectedness can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agrees this is a serious problem. As the GAO report notes, the FAA is taking steps to address cybersecurity issues both in airborne systems and in ATC installations.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) also agrees this is a serious problem. As they stated in an August 2013 Decision Paper, "Currently, a growing threat to the safety and security of the global aviation system lies in cyberspace."

Even the United States Air Force has a finger in the cybersecurity pie -- they have a full numbered air force (the 16th Air Force, headquartered at Lackland AFB, Texas) dedicated to cyber operations.

I have a unique perspective on this issue; in addition to my aviation background I am a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). My experience protecting systems and data in the business world tells me protecting aviation-related systems is going to be a tough challenge. And while the stakes in the business world are high, in aviation those stakes are literally life and death!

My combination of aviation and information technology experience uniquely qualifies me to provide cybersecurity services to aviation organizations. My cybersecurity qualifications include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Web Security Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate
    Professional Memberships:
  • InfraGard
  • Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
  • International Information Systems Security Certifications Consortium, Inc. "(ISC)2"
    The cybersecurity services I provide to aviation organizations include:
  • Security Assessments and Audits
  • Security Policy Development
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Training For All Levels Of Employees
  • Comprehensive Threat Assessment
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Computer Forensics

Contact me for a confidential assessment of your organization's security requirements and a detailed plan of how I can help you meet those requirements.

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