2021 witnessing the start of cybersecurity onboard

Readers of the Aerospace Cybersecurity Market Intelligence report, Edition 2020, may recall one of our forecast indicating that the cybersecurity will be more and more present inside the aircraft.

One of the expected trends is the development of onboard security enabling secure communications within the aircraft. To date, the cybersecurity of inflight systems (such as aircraft IFE or IFC) was directly taken care of by legacy equipment providers. With the development of cyberthreats, airlines are foreseen to consider third party cybersecurity suppliers to protect aircraft communication. The installation of dedicated cybersecurity equipment has already been witnessed in business and military aviation.

This forecast was built based on a set of interviews with airlines from regional players to major international players. Recent patent publications from aircraft manufacturers seems to validate this forecast. In particular, we decided to take a detailed look at the last Boeing’s patent filled in June 2019 and which has just been published in December 2020. In this patent, Boeing describes a method for obfuscating the network mapping of the aircraft to passengers through the use of a dedicated network module. This methods presents to the passenger an artificial and dynamic network mapping and is particularly useful to impede any network reconnaissance from a ill-intended passenger.

Our next quarterly digest, to be published at the end of Q1, will provide a complete review of all the relevant patents on aircraft cybersecurity.

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