Military Embedded Systems

Cybersecurity Trends in Aerospace and Defense Applications


February 16, 2022

The nature of cybersecurity has taken a dire turn across the aerospace and defense industry as threat vectors multiply and incidents such as the SolarWinds attack have caught many organizations unprepared.

Cybersecurity has always been a never-ending battle between developers devising new kinds of protection for systems and hackers creating new mechanisms for thwarting these protections. In the U.S., this threatening dance reached a pinnacle in March 2020, with an unanticipated attack from a group dubbed Cozy Bear, identified by The Washington Post as a hacking arm of the Russian government. The attack on the American company SolarWinds was traced to malware spread through a back door exploited by a trojanized component. It breached massive numbers of high-profile computer systems, including those of many major U.S. government agencies, private financial organizations, and universities. The SolarWinds attack, which targeted the company’s software update product Orion, was a reminder that new vulnerabilities continue to arise, taxing the abilities of those tasked with protecting data and systems.

Aerospace and defense companies have a particularly difficult mission in protecting and maintaining mission-critical systems and insulating them from cybersecurity threats. An online cybersecurity expert discussion recently hosted by Defense Daily explored emerging vulnerabilities and detailed the challenges faced by the industry in identifying and mitigating attacks.

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