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Willis exec says cyber aviation risks not addressed


The aviation industry is behind the curve in its response to the threat posed by cyber criminality, whether it is in the form of criminals, terrorists, nation states or hackers, a Willis executive said during an aviation insurance conference in calling for more action on this issue.

Speaking at the Willis IATA AAPA Aviation Insurance Conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Peter Armstrong, London-based head of cyber strategy for Willis Group Holdings P.L.C., said the launch of the Reston, Virginia-based American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' cyber security framework is a good start toward addressing this issue.

He said the framework is supported by the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association's aviation cyber security tool kit. Willis issued a statement on Mr. Armstrong's speech Wednesday.

The cyber security framework, which was issued by the AIAA in August 2013, states it is critical that the global aviation community “implement a common cyber security framework and implementation model to address evolving threats,” among other actions. The Geneva-based International Air Transport Association's cyber security toolkit was released in July 2014.

Mr. Armstrong warned in his speech that regulators, manufacturers and operators are only now becoming aware of cyber threats' pervasive nature.

“We remain concerned that cyber risk is not viewed as a significant enabler, amplifier or accelerator of existing risk in the portfolio as well as discrete cyber risk posed for example through use of cloud technologies. This is a boardroom issue representing a sophisticated challenge to sophisticated organizations,” he said.

“Risk management professionals need to bring a focus to this issue and represent it to their boards as a significant extension of existing risk as well as an incremental risk to their businesses,” Mr. Armstrong said.

The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines also participated in the conference.

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