Taking inflight cybersecurity seriously at 30,000 feet

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SD - Satcom Direct, taking inflight cybersecurity seriously.Sponsored Feature: Business aircraft operators need to take care with their inflight cybersecurity if they are to avoid costly hacking events and other issues with their company’s precious data.

The number of cybersecurity attacks is increasing every year. From the period between 2013-2015, it was reported that the cost of cybercrimes quadrupled, costing between $400-$500 billion.

And in a recent Cybersecurity Ventures report it predicted the cost of cyber threats will rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021.

This cost includes everything from damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, intellectual property, and personal and financial data theft, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack business disruption, forensic investigation, restoration of deleted hacked data, and systems, and much more.

The “Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience Act of 2016” (more commonly known as the “Cyber AIR Act”), introduced to US Congress in April of 2016, shows just how serious the cyber security threat is to business aviation

So what can you do to protect your data and devices when using a satellite-based inflight connectivity link?


Satcom Direct (SD) says it takes airborne cybersecurity very seriously indeed, which is why it introduced its SD SkyProtect services.

SD’s SkyProtect offering is a range of security solutions, tailored to the flight department, such as onsite risk assessments, recommended security postures and policies, and active monitoring of security threats to the aircraft to ensure the on-board network’s integrity.

Michael Skou Christensen, Regional Director, EMEA, Satcom Direct.
Michael Skou Christensen, Regional Director, EMEA, Satcom Direct.

Michael Skou Christensen, Managing Director, EMEA Satcom Direct, said: “For a very long time corporate flight departments have had IT compliance in their organisation. But the only place that didn’t extend to was the aircraft.

“A lot of the information being sent to and from their aircraft is highly delicate. So the risk of having no control of the data over a satellite link is a total no go.”

SD’s team of technical solutions managers provide a full assessment, recommendations on how to combat security risks found within a flight department through a suite of practices that adhere to ISO 27001 and NIST standards.

SD also offers the SD Private Network – a global communications framework that interconnects with satellite and air-to-ground connectivity providers via the SD Data Center and its multiple points of presence (POPs), worldwide.

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Security and Reliability

The company says the SD Private Network offers an unparalleled level of security and reliability to every product and service it offers.

This allows the application of SD proprietary value-added services to improve data speeds, create seamless transitions between ground-based and airborne communications networks, filter unwanted data transmissions to and from the aircraft, and enable the use of computers and personal devices in-flight, just like on the ground.

“This is bespoke and tailored to a specific company’s requirements,” said Skou Christensen. “Our goal is to ensure that data remains secure throughout the whole ecosystem.”

Because of these enhancements, SD says its clients get a better user experience than any other service provider can offer, even over the same satellite or air-to-ground network.

With POPs located in the US and Europe, it can also offer flexible routing and addressing options to meet corporate policies and regulatory requirements.

All SD customers using the company’s products and services can opt for SD Custom Routing, offering an added level of protection and control.

By selecting SD Custom Routing, all of a client’s airborne data traffic can be delivered from the connectivity provider directly to their corporate network, bypassing public routing and the internet.

SD Private Network

The SD Private Network infrastructure is constantly monitored to ensure 100% uptime. The latest IT security and best practices are applied and maintained to meet the compliance requirements of numerous industry standards bodies.

SD’s in-house network security experts also stay ahead of evolving security threats and proactively monitor network activity so that it can identify and block intrusion attempts in real-time.

“Our aim is to bring total peace of mind to our customers,” concluded Skou Christensen.

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