IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty calls cyber attacks as "the greatest threat to every company in the world". For the aviation industry it is a threat that needs to be taken seriously.
Egypt's minister of aviation, H.E. Sharif Fathi has warned operators in the North African country to step up their game in cyber security and called for the subject to top the agenda at the Aviation Africa Summit when it takes place in Cairo on April 17-18 this year.
One of the top cyber security experts in the world, Brian Lord, OBE, who headed the British Government's cyber intelligence unit at GCHQ where he was deputy director, will be flying to Cairo to give the keynote on the subject to the airline chiefs, civil aviation authorities, government ministers, manufacturers and industry suppliers from all across Africa and the Middle East who are attending the summit.
Supported by IATA, ICAO, AfBAA and the African Union the event will be analysing the major issues affecting the industry in the region. "It's surprising how little thought many of us give to cyber security in our day-to-day actions. Instead, we tend to brush it off as a problem for multinationals or something for the IT department to worry about. Yet this is a clear - and dangerous - misconception, as cyber security is not only a part of every IT discussion - but every business discussion," said Chris Moore, chief operating officer of global technology firm Satcom Direct (SD) who will be presenting a case study about how government officials, heads of state and VIPs are not exempt from the threat.
"Unfortunately, being in a business or private aircraft doesn't exempt you from a cyber threat. One of the most common myths in the industry is that once the aircraft's Wi-Fi signal is out of the range of those on the ramp, it is safe from an attack. Nothing could be farther from the truth," Moore said."Regardless of whether you are on the ground or in the air, if you can see the internet, then the internet - and the hackers - are most definitely able to see you. In other words, altitude doesn't make you safe."
The Aviation Africa event takes place at the Intercontinental City Stars Cairo on April 17-18 2018 and includes a business-to-business exhibition and opportunities to network with airlines, government and manufacturers/service providers.