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Munich Airport launches dedicated IT security hub to fight cybercrime

06 Feb 18

It’s an indication of the unstable times we live in that Munich Airport has launched a dedicated Information Security Hub (ISH).

The ISH is a competency centre where IT specialists with the airport operating company (FMG) will collaborate with experts from the European aviation industry to develop strategies for defending against cyberattacks and new approaches to the fight against cybercrime.

In setting up and operating the ISH, which is housed in the former airmail control centre at the airport near the cargo terminal, FMG is working with three IT security companies: ERNW INSIGHT, HvS-Consulting and IT-CUBE SYSTEMS.

A multitude of studies show the number and frequency of cyberattacks on the IT systems of companies and public authorities has skyrocketed in recent years following the spread of digitisation.

Munich Airport is no exception, with the establishment admitting to being the target of all kinds of cyberattacks every single day.

Dr. Dirk Häger, Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Thomas Weyer, CFO of Munich Airport (FMG) and Marc Lindike, Head of Information Security Assurance at FMG

FMG CFO and director of infrastructure Thomas Weyer says they are responsible for the functionality of critical infrastructure and must take up the fight every day to ensure protection against cyberattacks.

"Attacks on IT systems around the world have taken on new dimensions in terms of quality and quantity in recent years. New viruses, worms and malware are constantly being developed and turned loose on potential vulnerabilities in our IT systems,” says Weyer.

“The further we move ahead with digitalisation, and the more functions are performed and networked by computers, the more potential points of attack they will present to global cybercriminals – and the more serious the potential consequences of targeted attacks will become.”

The ISH has four training rooms and IT labs, a control room and an amphitheatre for presentations and briefings. The facilities are all equipped with computers, network hardware, cameras and projectors.

According to Munich Airport, among other things, this equipment will enable a group to carry out realistic attacks on IT systems for training purposes while a second group is assigned to take defensive measures.

And what’s more, the work of the ISH will not be dedicated excusively to IT security at the airport.

Other activities will involve cooperation between companies and across industry boundaries. Enterprises, public authorities and other institutions will have the opportunity to train security experts for their organisations and conduct detailed testing of innovative technologies and processes.