Aviation Industry

Compromised Privileged Identities can ‘Land’ Airline Companies in Trouble

July 27, 2016 | Privileged Identities, Cyber Security, Cyber Threats

Ever-expanding cyberspace amid increasing digitization of businesses boosted global trade, commerce, and innovation; risks and vulnerabilities, however, also increased due to Cyber-frauds.

Indeed, while documentation frauds came down thanks to increased usage of internet, internet-related frauds such as data-theft, phishing jumped manifold. Last year, organizations across the world suffered losses of about US$500 million due to breaches. And although, no industry or business is immune to cyber-attacks, cyber-threats posed to industries that store high amount of data are particularly high.

The aviation industry is a good example. Airline companies collaborate with multiple stakeholders. It shares a vast pool of data with airport authorities, navigation service providers and many other agencies.  That’s why the industry is a treasure-trove of highly sensitive data, which could be passengers’ personal info, or airliner’s own critical data. But it also makes the industry vulnerable to identity theft. Not surprising, major airline companies’ IT infrastructure suffered from hacking lately, including India’s state-owned carrier, Air India. Recently, the airliner’s frequent flyer program miles got hacked.

Even worse, malefactors can even assault IT infrastructure through denial-of-service (DOS) attacks like disabling aircraft-to-ground communications. Today we live in a very volatile environment. Sophisticated and highly coordinated terror attacks have rocked the airline industry. To take guard against such risks, experts are asking for closer collaboration between governments and the industry, including instantaneous information and intelligence exchange.

However, information sharing is not only the solution. In most cases, hacking, data theft, and other cyber-crimes stem out from insiders. These insiders are privy to highly sensitive data since they have access to privileged accounts—data base servers that store critical information. And since airline companies typically manage a high number of data base servers, vulnerability to insider threats automatically increases.

In a nutshell; today, airliners not just have to worry about the implications of higher fuel price on bottom-lines and passengers’ security but safeguarding highly critical privileged accounts has become a central part of the industry’s overall risk-management strategy.


ARCON is a leading enterprise risk control solutions provider, specializing in risk-predictive technologies. ARCON | User Behavior Analytics enables to monitor end-user activities in real time. ARCON | Privileged Access Management reinforces access control and mitigates data breach threats. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.

Need a solution for safeguarding critical IT assets? Please contact us

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