Challenges Ahead: Cybersecurity and the Aerospace Supply Chain

Identify vulnerabilities, reduce risks throughout supply chain to protect against cyberattacks.

Digital data is transforming commercial aviation, driving efficiencies throughout air transportation and the supply chain, but it also introduces risk. Supply chains have become a vital part of the industry’s cybersecurity  strategy, says Kirsten Koepsel, author of SAE International’s latest book, The Aerospace Supply Chain and Cyber Security – Challenges Ahead , now available.

An SAE International committee member, lawyer, and engineer, Koepsel looks at the current state of commercial aviation and cybersecurity , and how information technology (IT) and its attractiveness to cyberattacks is affecting it.

More than ever before, commercial aviation relies on information and communications technology – from passengers’ e-tickets, pilots’ electronic flight bags (EFBs), and wireless Internet access in flight to the thousands of sensors throughout the aircraft constantly gathering and sharing data with crew on the ground. The same way technology opens the doors for speed, efficiency, and convenience, it offers the unintended opportunity for malicious cyberattacks, with threat agents becoming bolder and choosing any possible apertures to breach security. Supply chains are now being seriously targeted as a pathway to the vital core of organizations around the world.

Written in a direct and informative way, The Aerospace Supply Chain and Cyber Security – Challenges Ahead discusses the importance of deeply mapping one’s supply chain to identify risky suppliers or potential disruptions, developing supplier monitoring programs to identify critical suppliers, and identifying alternative sources for IT/ICT products or components, to name a few of the necessary actions to be taken by the industry.

The Aerospace Supply Chain and Cyber Security – Challenges Ahead also discusses the standardization of communications platforms and its pitfalls, the invisible costs associated with cyberattacks, how to identify vulnerabilities of the supply chain, and what future scenarios are likely to play out in this arena.

For those interested in the many aspects of cybersecurity, The Aerospace Supply Chain and Cyber Security – Challenges Ahead is a must-read.

Courtney E. Howard  is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..