On January 31, 2018, Munich Airport has officially launched its Information Security Hub (ISH) – a competency centre where IT specialists with the airport operating company (FMG) will work together with experts from the European aviation industry to develop strategies for defending against cyberattacks and to come up with new approaches to the fight against cybercrime.

In recent years, there has been a massive increase in the number of cyberattacks on the IT systems of companies and public authorities in Germany, including Munich Airport. “As an airport operating company, we are responsible for the functionality of critical infrastructure and must take up the fight every day to ensure protection against cyberattacks,” said Thomas Weyer, the CFO and Director of Infrastructure at FMG.

“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,” Weyer explained, acknowledging the seriousness of the potential consequences of targeted attacks that may worsen in the future.

In a statement released on the day of the opening ceremony, the new competence centre, which is housed in the former airmail control centre at the Munich airport, is said to have four training rooms and IT labs, a control room and an amphitheatre for presentations and briefings. All of the facilities are equipped with computers, network hardware, cameras and projectors, which will allow to perform realistic attacks on IT systems and take defensive measures in response, all for training purposes. In setting up and operating the centre, FMG is working with three consulting IT security companies: ERNW INSIGHT, HvS-Consulting and IT-CUBE SYSTEMS.

The official statement said that the work of the ISH will not be dedicated exclusively to IT security at the Munich 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 organizations and conduct detailed testing of innovative technologies and processes. It will offer manufacturers of security solutions the means of trying out new products and services.

The main target group of the ISH will be airports, airlines and other partners from the aviation industry. However, the facilities and services will also be available to companies and organizations from other sectors.