NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to orchestrate a robust and comprehensive mechanism to counter cyber-attacks.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture tabled its report in Parliament on March 13, where it made various recommendations for MoCA.
The Committee opines that the aviation sector is highly vulnerable to cyber security threats as most major airlines have reported incidents of cyber-attacks, putting air operations and passenger data at huge risk, in the past few years.
It is aware that recently several flights in the United States of America were grounded or delayed due to a possible cyber-attack that incapacitated the airlines’ websites.
The Committee notes the issuance of necessary circular/order for countering cyber-attacks and protection of sensitive data in the Aviation Sector in India.
The Committee appreciates Ministry’s move to seek Reports from Airport/Aircraft Operators on preventive measures taken to protect the Civil Aviation Sector from potential cyber security threats. The Committee recommends that the Ministry may expedite the replies from the concerned stakeholders and would like to be informed of the summary of all the cyber security measures taken by the Airport/ Aircraft Operators.
It also notes that in the last five years, 13 incidents of cyber-attacks have been reported with AAI. The Committee would like to know the details of these attacks and the action taken by the Ministry, thereof.
The Committee notes that AAI has utilized Rs 51.80 crores for the implementation of Cyber Security in civil aviation from 2019-2022.
It feels that the Ministry should make concentrated efforts to overcome the challenges viz., adopting a multidisciplinary approach; data protection; and lacking skilled manpower.
The Committee further recommends that for proper monitoring of the challenges with respect the cyber security, the Ministry may explore the possibility of including a separate budget head and enhancing the budgetary allocations.
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