Israel’s aviation cybersecurity framework


As a country that is continuously, extensively, attacked on a daily basis, Israel became very active in the field of cybersecurity, including in the aviation sector. Various initiatives and efforts are led by the two main authorities that were designated by the government as being responsible for the national aviation cybersecurity framework: the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel. Both authorities signed a collaboration agreement which is the foundation for various activities and initiatives.

The governance of aviation cybersecurity is implemented through a national steering committee, composed of various governmental entities, and 3 sub-committees which are convened more often and cooperate between them: Regulations, threats and R&D, and international cooperation.

Between 2020-2022 an extensive cybersecurity risk survey project named ‘Hercules’ has been carried out focused on the following operational entities: e-enabled aircraft involved in commercial air transport, airports & air navigation service providers and maintenance organizations. These project outputs set the basis for the Israeli action plan to increase the cyber protection of aircraft operations and the resiliency of other aviation organizations.

Alongside the ‘Hercules’ project, the INCD, in cooperation with CAA, has been carrying out a surveillance plan applied to airlines and IAA (sole airports operator and sole ANSP in Israel), assisting them with the assessment and treatment of cybersecurity risks. Since there is no aviation cybersecurity mandatory, binding regulation applicable to airlines yet (in contrast to airports and ANSP), those oversight activities conducted to airlines are based on an open dialogue with airlines and on a voluntary basis.

Also, Israel has already started implementing rule-making tasks in order to standardize aviation organizations’ information security system with the intention to adopt EASA ISMS regulations and with respect to the “operational domain” the Ministry of Transport has recently established a national transport SOC to which several airlines have been already connected alongside with land and maritime organizations.