European fragmentation hampering cyber effort

EU institutions should assume a co-ordination role in order to harmonise cyber protection rules across Europe’s manufacturers, airlines, airports and air navigation service providers, according to one aircraft safety expert.

“Security is a chain. You need to harmonise the specifications and requirements and address all stakeholders,” Pascal Andrei, who heads aircraft security at Airbus, told euractiv.com in an interview.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) set up a European Centre for Cyber Security in Aviation (ECCSA) last year but Andrei said mistrust exists not only between the EU institutions and the aviation industry but also between member states which hampers the exchange of sensitive information.

A rival industry-led platform has therefore been established which will be called the European Strategic Coordination Platform.

This will group key industry stakeholders, member states and also EU institutions and effectively substitutes an existing informal group including Airbus, airlines and other participants. It is due to convene for the first time in 2017 and will present an opportunity for EU officials to confer with experts with operational knowledge before drafting directives aimed at cyber protection.

Some though are concerned that in order to guarantee that industry continues to share sensitive information, those involved from the European Commission and EASA must possess the appropriate skills and competences.

The EU institutions’ top-down approach and the industry-led bottom up effort are “complementary initiatives” and are both needed, a EASA spokesperson told euractiv.com.

Read EASA links with CERT-EU on cyber security

 

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