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Airbus Sets Up Cybersecurity-Focused Organization

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New Firm Will Address Strengthening Safety Services, Cybersecurity Investments(creed_digital) o
June 7, 2022 All existing cybersecurity services of Airbus will be brought under one roof. (Source: Airbus)

Aerospace company Airbus has set up a new organization to address potential cyberthreats amid the increasing digitalization and interconnectedness of the company’s products and systems.

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The as yet unnamed organization is expected to be functional beginning July 1, 2022. It will focus on bringing all existing cybersecurity services of Airbus under one roof and making investments to strengthen the company’s overall cybersecurity activities, Airbus says.

According to a company statement, the new organization will emphasize industrial cybersecurity and safety services by putting together a 1,000-strong expert team based in France, the U.K. and Spain. It will also provide a global service offering to meet the needs of national authorities and commercial customers, including critical infrastructures, the statement says.

Airbus did not immediately respond to Information Security Media Group’s request for additional details on its future plans, including whether it will offer these services to other companies in the aviation industry.

Besides these services, Airbus says it will dedicate cybersecurity teams to large projects to “develop further their expertise and business” for defense and space customers and programs. It says it will have 400 experts contribute to “major integration projects” in the Airbus consortium countries of France, Germany, the U.K. and Spain, focusing on cyber defense and cryptography. It is not immediately clear if these 400 experts are part of the 1,000-strong expert team.

The Airbus Industrie, the company’s European aircraft manufacturing consortium, was formed in 1970 to fill a market niche for short- to medium-range, high-capacity jetliners.

Investment Plans: R & D, Cryptography, Skills

Airbus has also announced a “double-digit million euros investment plan” for its cybersecurity products. Most of this fund has been set aside for research and development activities in its European cybersecurity solutions provider subsidiary, Stormshield, the company says. It did not specify the exact amount. The subsidiary, which employs 400 experts and offers data, endpoint and network security solutions, is expected to “increase the capabilities and performance of its product lines and accelerate the development of its international activities.”

Airbus also appears to be prioritizing cryptography as a means of achieving cybersecurity. Andreas Lindenthal, head of business operations space systems at Airbus Defense and Space based in Germany, says cryptography is a key aspect of building secure systems. In April 2022, Airbus acquired Federal Office for Information Security-certified Datensicherheit – or DSI – a German cryptography and communication systems provider for companies in the space, aviation, naval and land sectors.

Lindenthal says the acquisition will strengthen Airbus’ cybersecurity capacities. “Cyber protection is critically important for any system supporting critical infrastructure. Space-based systems are no exception. Airbus and DSI DS have a history of partnering on important products and we are excited to continue our success with the start of Aerospace Data Security GmbH,” he says.

Airbus says that in view of the high employee turnover in the cybersecurity sector and the “increasing need for cyber skills at all levels,” it intends to invest funds in skills building. The company says it has recruited “several hundred” cybersecurity experts in the recent past and also has launched a cybersecurity diploma program that will start in September 2022.

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