airplaneA new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has said that the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) cybersecurity is “threatening the agency’s ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system.” These deficiencies put the national air space at risk for unauthorized users to access, edit or change information. Those actions would disrupt air traffic control operations, putting people at risk.

The conclusion from the report: steps have been taken to decrease vulnerabilities, but problems have not been fully addressed. Auditors found information security systems did not meet requirements of a 2002 law. Also that the information security strategic plan had not received an update since 2010.

air traffic control

The GAO report release 17 recommendations to the public including strengthening access control, increasing planning, identify and fix more problems, increase employee training and detecting unauthorized access. These were not the only recommendations. There was also a private report released by the GAO with 168 specific actions that should be taken.

The FAA has released a letter agreeing with the GAO’s recommendations as well as detailing some of their efforts to increase cybersecurity. Increasing security against potential breaches has been a hot button issue in the news lately. One can only hope the FAA takes this report seriously and implements a plan to protect themselves as well as all of the people using airspace on a daily basis.

The time is now for the FAA to improve cybersecurity. 

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