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Providers of Aviation Information Management Solutions | Business Aviation BlogNorwich International Airport pledged to update its security systems after an embarrassing incident this month when their website was hacked ‘within minutes’.

Airport operations director will look into replacing the system to include secure protocols as soon as possible. The hacker, who called himself ‘His Royal Gingerness’, claims he hacked into the site to ‘see if [he] could,’ in an alarming short space of two to three minutes. His Royal Gingerness will not reveal his true identity in case of prosecution, but says that he enjoys trying to find vulnerabilities in modern systems.

Providers of airport security systems software realise that vulnerabilities exist, and encourage airports to ensure robust networks to protect passenger and airline data.

Protecting IT Infrastructure | Security Systems ProvidersFormer hacker, now an IT consultant, Mr Phil Kernick, has highlighted weaknesses in the Australian airports systems that could be exploited by hackers.

Mr Kernick says that the focus of authorities has been placed too much on the physical than on IT infrastructure, which should be better protected from what he believes are ‘daily attacks’.

Protection of IT infrastructure is critical for airlines, who process flight plans, passenger data and hundreds of thousands of mission critical transmissions every day. According to Mr Kernick, it is a simple process to place a 4G hacking device into an airport power system. He notes that airport personnel carry access cards once within the secure environment past screening areas, but that this can lead to a relaxation of security if all personnel make the assumption that restricted areas are secure.

To make his point clear, Mr Kernick said, “The more you think you do physical security well, the easier the job is [for intruders], because you believe your security works. This is how they get into bank data centres. It is surprisingly easy.”

Cyber security is an increasing issue within airports across the world. With daily threats of attacks, whether to physical security or infrastructure, security providers are under growing pressure to maintain solutions to combat these threats.

Providing physical security for airports | Security systems from other suppliersThe Ministry of Transport in Oman has given to go-ahead for the installation of a new integrated security system for two of the country’s airports. Muscat International Airport and the new Salalah Airport will receive a new state-of-the-art, comprehensive system to include perimeter security intrusion detection, security check points and access control, overseen by a new data management centre.

The contact has been awarded to Thales, French technology firm, who will also be responsible for training and testing as part of the deal agreed this week.

Airports across the world are stepping up their security as the threat of terrorism and smuggling increases. Airport security providers are using the latest technology to develop powerful, high performance systems to strengthen border security.

Find out more about Rockwell Collins' ARINC AIM | Nuclear Facility SecurityRockwell Collins’ ARINC AIM platform has been selected by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for the provision of physical and infrastructure security for the Rancho Seco facility.

AIM is a secure platform offering the nuclear facility solutions for cyber security, intrusion detection, surveillance and situational awareness and in turn, compliance with the changing NRC mandates.

Rancho Seco will join many of the country’s nuclear power facilities with the implementation of ARINC AIM.

Find Out More About Information Management for Aviation and Facility SecurityRockwell Collins has announced another acquisition with the purchase of International Communications Group Inc. in a $50 million deal, which may rise by an additional $14 million after the deal is completed.

ICG Inc., based in Virginia, provides the aviation industry with global satellite voice and data communications products and services. Once the deal is finalised, Rockwell Collins will integrate ICG’s portfolio into its growing information management business, particularly with the latest generation of Iridium smart routers and satellite communications terminals.

CEO of ICG Inc., Mr Scott Trainum said of the acquisition, “Bringing ICG into the Rockwell Collins family is the culmination of 20 years of hard work by the dedicated team of professionals at ICG. [This is] a remarkable accomplishment by all of our people.”

Rockwell Collins' New eBook | Download HereA new eBook was launched earlier this month to coincide with the Paris Air Show. The new book, entitled, ‘Harnessing the Power of Aviation’s Information Age’ shares insights into the ways that the latest technology can be utilised to streamline and secure the information that flows between modern aircraft and ground-based operational departments.

The book, authored by industry experts from Rockwell Collins, addresses the future and existing opportunities for flight deck systems, connectivity and IFE and is introduced by Jeff Standerski, senior vice president of Information Management Services and Kent Statler, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Commercial Systems at Rockwell Collins.

The eBook is available and can be downloaded now. Click here for further information.

ARINC AIM Platform for Enhanced Infrastructure SecurityRockwell Collins has announced the release of an upgrade to its ARINC AIM user interface which incorporates state-of-the-art technology to deliver an improved experience for users.

The upgrade delivers intuitive workflows, configurable desktop themes, customisable workspace layouts, in-built graphical display editor and improvements to the user feedback mechanism.

Built using Agile software development methodology, the new interface will provide users of ARINC AIM with enhanced flexibility that can more effectively help them manage unexpected changes to critical infrastructure security.

With real-time situational awareness, ARINC AIM’s platform is commonly utilised in nuclear power facilities to monitor security, access and command and control.

Integrating Systems Information with Leading ProvidersIt has been announced that American Airlines and US Airways plan to merge their passenger reservations systems this summer after operating separately since their merger in December 2013.

The carriers plan to combine the systems over a three-month period in a bid to avoid problems with data transfers.

Passenger reservations systems form part of a vast infrastructure of airline operations necessary to maintain performance and minimise delays. Ensuring that disruption is kept to a minimum remains a top priority for the airlines, who wish to avoid similar problems experienced by Continental Airlines and United Airlines in 2012, whose passengers were unable to check in, resulting in hundreds of delayed flights.

Airline infrastructure specialist providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC, use the robust reliability of the AviNet network with their AviNet Airport suite, providing high-performance services for both airlines and airports for access to critical departure control systems.

Other Leading Providers of Reliable Aviation Information Management SolutionsSATCOM Direct, satellite communications provider, has launched a new data centre solutions facility, TerraCom Direct, this month. The new wing of the company promises information security and monitoring for land, sea and air-based operators.

Jim Jensen, CEO and Founder of SATCOM Direct, said “Information security is a huge issue for businesses and individuals. Our new data center is the key to safeguarding connectivity and communications streams, and better securing the missions of our customers. SATCOM Direct and TerraCom Direct customers can have enterprise level security for air, land and sea.”

“The key advantage we have over other data solution providers is flexibility. We offer a wide range of connectivity options, so whether the client simply needs rack space, a private network, or full migration to the cloud, we have the expertise and the capabilities. With our highly-redundant infrastructure and 24/7 support, we do everything possible to ensure 100 percent uptime and uninterrupted service,” said Rich Pilock, president of TerraCom Direct.

Secure and reliable information management is critical to operational productivity and providers aim to establish seamless networks for the protection of mission and facility-critical information on a global scale.

Reliable Data Sharing from Leading APIS ProvidersSome German carriers could find themselves out in the cold with suspended UK flights if UK Government directives concerning the provision of Advance Passenger Information are passed, but not complied with.

Issues could arise as the UK border control system mirrors a similar system in the U.S. and asks for mandatory delivery of Advance Passenger Information in order for security services to monitor the movements of potential persons of interest as they travel to or pass through the UK. However, other countries in the E.U. would need to amend areas of their privacy laws in order for the system to be effective.

UK Home Office secretary, Mr Mark Sedwill issued a statement according to the Guardian newspaper, “We are looking in future legislation at taking mandatory powers. We are working with all the airlines. We have 90% of Advance Passenger Information.”

Advance Passenger Information (API) includes the personal details of passengers and flight crew and in some instances also contains methods of payment and itinerary details. In the U.S. API is a mandatory requirement and assists security agencies with monitoring and tracking of ‘at risk’ passengers.

Continuing, Mr Sedwill said, “We are in discussions, which for obvious reasons I have to keep somewhat private, with other EU countries to change their data protection legislation in order to require this data of the carrier.”

Other German airlines include Lufthansa and Germania. The debate will continue and was due to be discussed during the recent G6 summit in Paris last week.