The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now reaching out to contractors to help assess cyber-attack threats and vulnerabilities to communications systems on airplanes. This new effort is part of the Aircraft Systems Information Security/Protection initiative. The FAA says that this initiative’s goal is to develop “aviation policies, regulation, and training requirements to ensure the resilience of aircraft network systems from cyber-attacks.”
The FAA is asking that contractors prepare an outline for studying and tracking these vulnerabilities which will hopefully lead to a complete risk assessment and eventual detection system for potential threats. Contractors will be awarded 9-month contracts, but may also be asked to participate in the two subsequent phases over the next five years.
The FAA hopes to find out more information on the effects of the connections between planes and external networks like gate agents, and whether these connections need better security protections. Of course, this outreach comes after a 2015 U.S. Government Accountability Office report urging the FAA to take a stronger approach to cybersecurity.