Airlines and airports worldwide will spend an estimated $33 billion in 2017 as additional investments in cyber security and cloud services.
5% of revenues earned by airports around the world will be spent on upgrading their IT systems and Cloud applications.
The SITA Air Transport IT Trends Insights 2017 has revealed some encouraging news as far as cyber security investments by airlines and airports are concerned. The report states that in the current calendar year, airlines around the world will spend a total of US$24.3 billion, or 3.3% of their revenue on cyber security and cloud services.
Even though airports will spend a considerably lesser sum of US$8.43 billion on cyber security, they will still spend a healthy 5.05% of their revenue on the same. The report adds that 70% of airlines and 88% of airports will either increase their investments in cyber security and cloud services next year or will keep their investments at the same level as it is now.
'The air transport industry is going through a digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry so building solid defences is essential,' said Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions at SITA.
In fact, airlines and airports have now identified cyber security as their number one priority. Around 95% of airlines and 96% of airports will be pouring money on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. At the same time, 95% of airlines and 85% of airports will also invest in cloud services over the next three years.
'When it comes to IT investment, airports and airlines are aligned to provide better, more secure service to customers. The interdependencies built into air transport systems mean investments and improvements in all these areas, by airlines and airports alike, will continue to contribute to a strong global industry,' Gutlin added.
Major airlines across the world have been targeted by hackers in the recent past. In 2015, Malaysian Airlines announced that a hacker group named Lizard Squad had compromised its Domain Name System (DNS) and redirected the airline's visitors to a different page owned by the hackers.
In June, British Airways also suffered a major IT glitch that affected operations and left 75,000 passengers stranded. It later turned out that the glitch was caused by human error after a systems engineer mistakenly switched off the power supply to the airline's IT systems.