Airbus Security Boss Talks Tackling Today’s And Tomorrow’s Cyber Threats

Cyber crime is constantly on the rise. Statistics from the UK Government show that almost half of British firms were hit by some form of cyber breach or attack last year, and such incidents are costing businesses billions in losses globally.

Clearly, there’s a desperate need for solutions to deal with the hacker problem. And as an industry, cyber security is extremely lucrative.

According to research from American advisory firm Gartner, spending in the sector will reach $90 billion by the end of 2017, and this will grow to a staggering $113 billion in 2020.

The Airbus Cyber Security Research Innovations Centre plays a crucial role in developing methods and products to crush cyber criminals.

Based in the Welsh city of Newport, it’s actively conducting research into cyber threats on industrial environments and is helping national critical infrastructure organisations defend themselves against digital-savvy criminals.

Ian Goslin, the company’s UK head of cyber security, is responsible for protecting industrial customers against cyber threats. His role is less involved in the research side of the business, and more involved in delivering these services to government, military and other critical national infrastructures such as transport, energy and utility firms. We recently caught up with him.

Leading cyber research

Goslin is a seasoned expert in the cyber security world and joined Airbus in 2012, before heading up the UK arm of the firm’s cyber business.

He started his career working as an engineer at the Royal Air Force and has a hands-on glimpse into cyber threats.

“I focused on the security of military communication networks across the globe, including in Afghanistan and the Middle East,” he says.

“Compromised data can have potentially fatal consequences in the military, but in fact, the dangers of security breaches within Industrial Control Systems can be just as severe, affecting physical safety, industry and the national interest.”

He explains that cyber security is an integral part of Airbus and that it provides companies, critical national infrastructures, and government and defence organisations with “high-performance products and services to detect, analyse and respond to increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks”.

“The company grew from securing the ecosystem that Airbus needs to build aircraft securely. As everything is now so connected, this requires a secure environment within manufacturing, utilities, electricity, water and oil. As a major manufacturing organisation, elements of ICS and OT are a major part of the business,” he explains.

“We provide services including high grade cryptography and key management, domain gateway protection, threat intelligence capabilities and a full spectrum cyber protection services. We are primarily based in the UK, Germany and France, with an additional presence in Spain, the Middle East and the US. Our customers include the Ministry of Defence, the UK Hydrographic office, and TV5 Monde.”

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Nicholas Fearn

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