From Aviation Safety to Cyber Resilience

By Dr. Marco Soijer //

Leveraging aerospace industry’s century-long safety culture for cybersecurity

Software development has a poor safety record. The number of cyberattacks has risen dramatically since 2004, clearly outrunning the growth of the internet itself. In parallel, aviation has a proven track record of achieving the highest level of safety and serves as an example even in the information technology industry itself. Despite increasing software complexity, the existing certification processes for airborne equipment manage to assure extremely reliable software. The more recent certification process for information technology products applies similar methods of formal development but is not as widespread as its aviation counterpart. More importantly, the aerospace safety culture is missing. As such, information technology can benefit from applying the aerospace industry’s methods, procedures and mindset to its development process. Due to the similarities of both formal development worlds, the transfer will be easier than it may seem.

In his whitepaper, Senior Consultant Dr Marco Soijer revisits recent incidents caused by faulty software and discusses how key cornerstones of the aerospace industry’s safety culture can be applied to a wider range of IT products. Doing so, he draws on many years of experience in the European aerospace industry as well as recent knowledge from the cybersecurity industry.

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