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Aviation Webinar Series: Episode 4 - Cyber Safety, Aviation Security and The Human Factor

Make sure to also watch the other episodes of Aon's Aviation Webinar Series. Watch them here on demand. 


Aviation stands out as an industry where it is not just business as usual. Aviation events make headline news. They impact our personal and our business lives. From human error to terrorism to data breaches, we explore what the industry is doing and can do, now and into the future in order to enable a prosperous and secure upward trajectory.

Aon’s David Barrett hosts this discussion with Kerry Peirse, general manager of IT infrastructure, operations and security at Cathay Pacific Airways, Kashif Khalid, regional director of Africa and the Middle East at IATA and Edward Stroz, co-president at Aon Cyber Solutions.

In this episode, we consider how technological advances support security and the role that individual characteristics play.

Safety and security are always top of mind in many domains of the aviation sector. However, the recent rapid shutdown of many operations and the gradual opening up of travel once again has brought new challenges.
During the early weeks of the pandemic, business safety actions concerned shutting down borders and imminent travel restrictions, the location of aircraft and where to store these in the short and possibly medium terms. Also the cost cutting that needed to take place to ensure a company’s long-term security. As the industry comes through the clouds, the concerns are for the health and safety of employees, given the present global patchwork of travel regulations.

Biosecurity is Part of the Roadmap to Opening Up Again
Health has become the new passport. In the past, airlines knew plenty about the passenger: how often they flew; their buying habits; their preferences; their loyalty. Now the essential information relates to their health - health has become a currency to travel.

Cybersecurity Remains Critical
Perimeters around business operations continue to be reinforced and vulnerabilities exposed and then strengthened. Many security weaknesses are found at the intersection of business and its connection with the outside world. How does the growth in remote working, add to these weaknesses – and what role does the employee’s character and personality play in protection and security?

The Human Factor
The individual has a central role to play in strengthening security. Firstly, there is a need for technical knowledge and expertise to manage the technology. Secondly, an individual’s psychology and advances in behavioral analytics can help tell us how likely they are to be a security risk.
We look for behavioral indicators to better understand risk. We are able to look at people’s behaviors and personality styles and identify those more or less prone to risk or doing things that may lead to a negative outcome.

A Better Customer Experience from New Advances in Security Screening
The panel members discuss new developments in security screening by creating a security matrix room and having security screening devices connected via a network. Security personnel are no longer located at the checkpoints themselves but in a matrix room, monitoring activity across the airport and scanning remotely. It creates a better and smoother customer experience as do the other advances in biometric screening across the airport.

The Future Requires the Aviation Industry to Build Confidence
The biggest enabler to aviation will be restoring confidence in the system, in travel, in health, in safety and in those guiding passengers on that journey. At the moment, there is no consistency in health requirements. We need to develop a globally-harmonized approach to policies and a mutual recognition of these policies across the globe. Passengers want accurate information from governments and healthcare providers and also reassurance that the airlines are working together.


Hear more about how aviation is coming through the clouds here.


About the Author

Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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