Munich Airport establishes centre to fight cyber crime
Like many airports, the threat of cyber attack is ever present for Munich International Airport. In a move designed to combat it, its operator has set up a unique centre to develop defensive strategies and train people from inside or outside the aviation industry.
CONSTANT THREAT: Airports are frequently hit by cyber attacks
Munich Airport has opened a dedicated centre to tackle the threat of cyber attacks. The Information Security Hub (ISH) was launched yesterday (January 31) at a special ceremony held to honour the occasion.
It will be staffed by IT specialists employed by the airport’s operation company (FMG) who will work with experts from to European aviation industry.
“As an airport operating company, we are responsible for the functionality of critical infrastructure and must take up the fight every day to ensure protection against cyber attacks,” said Thomas Weyer, the CFO and Director of Infrastructure at FMG.
“Attacks on IT systems around the world have taken on new dimensions in terms of quality and quantity in recent years. New viruses, worms and malware are constantly being developed and turned loose on potential vulnerabilities in our IT systems. The further we move ahead with digitalisation, and the more functions are performed and networked by computers, the more potential points of attack they will present to global cyber criminals – and the more serious the potential consequences of targeted attacks will become,”
The new centre at Munich Airport has four training rooms and IT labs, a control room and an amphitheatre for presentations and briefings. All of the facilities are equipped with computers, network hardware, cameras and projectors. With this equipment, a group can carry out realistic attacks on IT systems for training purposes, for example, with a second group assigned to take defensive measures.
The work of the ISH will not be dedicated exclusively to IT security at the airport. Other activities will involve cooperation between companies and across industry boundaries. Enterprises, public authorities and other institutions will have the opportunity to train security experts for their organisations and conduct detailed testing of innovative technologies and processes.
The main target group of the Information Security Hub will be airports, airlines and other partners from the aviation industry that must meet the new regulatory requirements for the transportation sector as providers of critical infrastructure.
However, the facilities and services will also be available to other companies and organisations from every possible sector. A professional testing environment with practice facilities is essential for success and also offers manufacturers of security solutions a means of trying out new products and services under realistic conditions and working together to develop efficient and pragmatic approaches in the fight against cyber crime.
In setting up and operating the Information Security Hub, which is housed in the former airmail control centre at the airport, near the cargo terminal, FMG is working with three IT security companies: ERNW INSIGHT, HvS-Consulting and IT-CUBE SYSTEMS have worked successfully for many years as developers and consultants for improved IT security.