Cybersecurity Represents Opportunities and Risks in the Aerospace Industry Written 4 October 2021


AIAA Educational, Interactive Resources Can Help Raise Awareness

October 4, 2021 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) aims to make cybersecurity as important and overarching as safety, bringing cybersecurity to the heart of the aerospace industry. Based on its “2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report,” AIAA says industry professionals are just as enthusiastic about the opportunities to innovate solutions around cybersecurity (43%) as they are concerned about cybersecurity risks (42%). In recognition of #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth, AIAA is announcing educational and interactive resources for the aerospace community.

“Digital technology has made aerospace safer, smarter, and more connected than ever. We must now establish cybersecurity as a priority on par with safety. We must ensure cybersecurity is factored into the mainstream of our core processes – from the design and development of new space systems to manufacturing and production to operations. Aerospace professionals – in all departments – should be educated and empowered to discuss cybersecurity within their organizations,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher. “We are using Cybersecurity Awareness Month to help move the industry forward, as we all begin to own the topic.”

AIAA has made a long-term commitment to bring cybersecurity front and center. AIAA has recently forged partnerships with several cybersecurity-focused groups to help foster open dialogue and cooperation around the topic, including Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Space ISAC), Aviation ISAC, and The Aerospace Village. These organizations promote valuable cybersecurity information sharing, situational awareness, and operational excellence in the aerospace community, complementing AIAA’s Cybersecurity Program goal of building cybersecurity foundations for aerospace.

Courses Open Now to Get #Cybersmart

  • Understanding Cybersecurity in the Space Domain, 6–8 October 

The Space Domain Cybersecurity (SpaDoCs) Framework provides a comprehensive and systematic model for understanding and tackling cybersecurity in the space domain. This online course examines the practical issues of developing and sustaining a secure cyber environment through all phases of the space mission lifecycle. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to formulate inputs and issues to a cybersecurity assessment plan for a given space domain scenario. Enrollment is available now at

  • Aviation Cybersecurity, 26 October–18 November 

Aircraft systems integrity, airport security, security of the passengers, cargo, and the myriad systems that support aviation are a few areas where the reliance on computer networks is significant and the consequences of cyber breaches are great. This online course will teach students how to apply principles and best practices of information security, intelligence, and risk assessment to mitigate gaps and vulnerabilities in aviation cybersecurity. Enrollment is available now at

2021 ASCEND Offering a Tutorial, Demonstration, and Discussions

  • Numerous sessions will be dedicated to cybersecurity during the 2021 ASCEND event as part of its visionary agenda. Attendees will have several opportunities to collaborate during interactive sessions. Register to attend 2021 ASCEND, 8–10 and 15–17 November. Powered by AIAA, ASCEND was launched in 2020 to Accelerate Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery.

Free Resources Available to Cultivate Aerospace Leaders’ Cyber Hygiene Mindset

  • Webinar Replay:Cybersecurity Headlines: What the Aerospace Industry Should Know.” Aerospace professionals must get prepared for disruptive ransomware and cyber espionage. Industry and academia experts at the nexus of aerospace and cybersecurity shared their insights on what’s next and how to get ready. Webinar speakers were from University of Michigan, The Aerospace Village, Cyber Defense Agency and SCYTHE.
  • AIAA White Paper:Aerospace Cybersecurity: Enduring Challenges, Enduring Solutions; Bringing Cyber Protection to the Heart of the Aerospace Industry.” This white paper summarizes findings from the AIAA Aerospace Cybersecurity Market Study (2020). Key insights include:
  • Application security and disaster recovery are viewed as the areas of greatest need for tailored aerospace cybersecurity solutions.
  • Information, network, and operational security are viewed as the areas with confidence in  cybersecurity solutions where the industry is likely to have solutions in place.

Long-Term Changes Also Needed in University Curriculum
There is growing concern that university-level aerospace education needs more coverage of cybersecurity and digital topics. New aerospace engineers and scientists assigned to product security or digital projects can take up to year to get up to speed on cybersecurity and digital — because they often are not getting the coursework and preparation they need for the new normal of digital aerospace. AIAA and its members recognize the process of changing aerospace curriculum and learning expectations will take years. AIAA is involved in key groups that influence aerospace curriculum and standards, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Aerospace Department Chairs Association (ADCA).

Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270 cell

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.