Cybersecurity at airports is a key issue with large numbers of staff now working remotely as airports have been forced to implement new working practices due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Airports Council International (ACI) World said on Monday.
Aiming to assist airports around the globe in response to the unprecedented disruption and upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the trade association of the world’s airports has issued guidance on Information Τechnology (IT) practices, including cyber security measures, to help airports adjust to their new working practices.
In response to the rapid decline in traffic as a result of widespread travel restrictions and the health and safety implications of the spread of Covid-19, airports are ensuring the safety and health of all airport stakeholders by reducing onsite staff – including IT staff – to essential personnel only. They are adopting emergency HR measures and increasing the use of online collaborative tools and remote working to ensure business continuity.
ACI: New working practices have challenges
According to ACI, these new working practices are not without challenges and risks and the advisory bulletin – Airport Information Technology recommendations during COVID-19 – provides recommendations to help airports with this transition.
“Airports are being forced to reconsider their normal business and operational processes and this advisory bulletin provides airports with a set of important key actions for addressing IT concerns during this pandemic,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.
“A key aspect for airports, especially with larger numbers of staff accessing IT systems remotely, is the implementation of cyber resilience for business continuity,” Gittens added.
Along with cyber security measures, the bulletin provides guidance in building a strong collaborative team, ensuring effective and secure IT infrastructure for remote access and establishing a common information sharing approach. It also covers the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions for autonomous operations.
The bulletin also includes information on shutting-down systems and also explores how airports will need to plan to bring them back up and restore then to full capacity.
ACI World has also issued an advisory bulletin on best practices for security screening during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The trade association serves 668 members, operating 1979 airports in 176 countries.