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Airlines Increasingly Focusing on Cyber Security

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Connected travel complicates security

More than 90 percent of airlines across the globe plan to invest in cyber security programs over the next 3 years, according to a recent report from SITA.

Global information technology company SITA recently published its Airline IT Trends Survey 2016, which, among other things, pointed out how the "connected" nature of travel is now complicating security in new ways.

With the fast-paced move to get commercial aircraft connected, SITA reported that 91 percent of airlines plan to invest in cyber security programs over the next three years. This level of commitment to cyber security, SITA said, clearly shows the consensus among airlines of the growing importance of protecting against cyber attacks.

Fewer than half of airlines across the globe were focusing squarely on cyber security just three years ago, when just 47 percent of airlines stated a commitment to "advanced preparations to manage cyber risks."

Now, with more than 9 of 10 airlines stating clear intentions to address immediate cyber security concerns, there is a marked shift to secure aircraft from cyber attacks.

The 'Internet of Things' (IoT) complicates security even more

The movement known as the "Internet of Things" (IoT) -- which represents the increasingly digital world where more and more things are connected to the Internet -- is also presenting new security challenges.

According to SITA, 68 percent of airlines are investing in IoT programs in the next three years, as well, which represents an approximate 20 percent increase from the 57 percent figure from one year earlier.

Right now, about a third of airlines offer Internet via passenger devices, but big increases are expected in this area over the next three years. It is expected that upwards of 70 percent of airlines will provide multi-media file streaming on passenger devices in some capacity in that time frame.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.