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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Cybersecurity and Regulations Compliance In the Aerospace Industry

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The aerospace industry is a dynamic space that caters to a diverse range of customer requirements around the globe. 

As the industry develops new plans and works towards increasing the efficiency of its mechanisms and product quality, it needs to keep up with cybersecurity and regulations compliance. 

This article discusses the importance of cybersecurity and regulations compliance in the aerospace industry. 

The aerospace industry and the types of regulations and compliance to consider

The aerospace industry deals with research, development, and production related to flight vehicles. Globalization is providing impetus for the industry’s rapid growth, as more people cross borders and more companies set foot in the aerospace sector. 

With increased potential in the aerospace industry, the need for standardized security measures has also increased. In response to this security need, companies are finding the imposition of many more regulations and compliance protocols. Adherence to these measures ensures the quality and security of products and services. 

Some regulations the aerospace industry must consider are:

1. Aerospace Cybersecurity standard 9933

2. Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

3. NIST

4. CIS CSC

5. National Aerospace Standard (NAS)

6. ARINC

What cybersecurity threats must be considered for this industry? 

The aeronautics space has much to protect, from mechanism plans and compositions to budgets and blueprints. Despite the sensitive information the aeronautic area encompasses, many companies have yet to adopt robust security policies against cybersecurity threats. 

The aeronautics industry appears as a potential goldmine to many cybersecurity hackers. They view the space as a considerably easy target due to the lack of a sufficiently protective cybersecurity framework in many companies across the industry. 

Government agencies in the US are working hard to impose new cybersecurity mandates for the transportation industry. 

Some major cybersecurity threats the aerospace industry must consider are:

Vulnerable data storage

Digitization has made its mark in nearly all business spaces, and aeronautics is no different. The practice of communication, documentation, and data storage via the cloud is common. However, this storage and collaboration are not accompanied by solid or dedicated security. This puts sensitive information at risk. 

Danger to communication links

Hackers can access information threatening to the company, customer security, and national safety. The harm is not just limited to knowledge acquired through hacking, but a technically faulty system can also cause miscommunication, leading to severe dangers.

Presence of a variety of technology

The presence of a wide variety of devices and technology further opens doors to let hackers sneak in. The wireless connections, mobile phones, flight networks, pilots’ electronic flight bags, and other systems that the aerospace industry uses regularly and the diverse presence of new weakly secured technology adds to cybersecurity vulnerability. 

Lack of uniform regulations

Most companies face confusion and chaos when building their mechanism against the above-mentioned cybersecurity threats. A significant reason for this chaos is the absence of uniform federal regulations that would force unison compliance from all companies in the industry. 

How can technology prevent cyberthreats?

Most threats to cybersecurity result from technology.  When it comes to defending these systems, it is the same technology that holds the shield to the hackers. 

The first step to prevent cyberthreats is to assess the system and search for loopholes. Many companies hire ethical hackers who can go through their security mechanisms and build a robust operation. 

Another advanced and prevalent way to prevent cyber threats is to adapt to the latest trend of cloud-based management and communication systems. These systems come in the form of software such as ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning. The benefit of the cloud-based management system is that it offers an integrated platform to run all essential functions in an automated and secured setup. The access permissions can be monitored and are not easy to violate. 

Companies in the aerospace industry have to adapt to new technology for an adequate Risk Management approach centered on relevant threats. The Aerospace Industry Association (AIA) provides a set of regulations that can guide companies in forming technologically advanced frameworks.

What types of certifications are needed for the industry? 

The aerospace industry follows specific and strict requirements for quality management. They follow the Global Quality Management System to ensure their products and services’ offer the best functionality and quality within the aviation sector. 

The AS9100 is a set of standards formulated to serve as a benchmark for fundamental requirements in the aerospace industry’s production and service areas. Companies comply with the regulations to earn AS9100 certification. 

The AS9100 certification and how companies utilize it for safety.

Through AS9100 certification, the Global Quality Management System ensures maintenance of standards for aeronautics equipment and services. Learn more here.

The AS9100 audit is an example of a component of AS9100 certification. It requires the company to gather evidence of ongoing company processes. This evidence is then compared to planned arrangements for conducting the operations. 

The idea behind organizing this audit is to verify conformance to standard regulations ensuring that the actual activities match the planned activities.  If the processes do not match, then the differences are identified. The audit process involves observation, interviews, and document review for evidence collection. 

An essential part of the AS9100 certification is hiring people to conduct the audit process. The organization employs many people whose job is to perform the audit and report the observations to the company. Based on these observations, the performance level of the company is measured. 

The aerospace industry is estimated to expand at an exponential rate in the coming years. This growth will make it a potential target for harmful and unethical entities waiting to violate the system and cause a significant setback to its quality and functioning. Therefore, aerospace companies must keep up with cybersecurity and regulatory compliance to build a foolproof workflow with smooth management of an exceptional quality. 

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