Security culture is a set of security-related norms, values, attitudes and assumptions that are inherent in the daily operation of an organization and are reflected by the actions and behaviours of all entities and personnel within the organization. Security should be everyone’s responsibility – from the ground up and top down. The benefits of having an effective security culture in place include:
- Employees are engaged with and take responsibility for security issues;
- The levels of compliance with protective security measures increase;
- The risk of security incidents and breaches is reduced, with employees thinking and acting in more security-conscious ways;
- Employees are more likely to identify and report behaviours/activities of concern;
- Employees feel a greater sense of security; and
- Security is enhanced without the need for large expenditures.
At ICAO we recently launched a suite of new security culture training and assistance products that can be used by anyone who works in civil aviation. These products build on the momentum created by the ICAO Year of Security Culture in 2021.
We have developed discussion cards to help organizations initiate meaningful discussions about security and security culture with staff with best practices shared.
The cards include various security culture components that cover: the importance of a positive work environment; understanding threats to aviation; staff vigilance; reporting systems; incident response; and information security.
Facilitators can use the cards in different settings, such as in meetings, group exercises, training courses and workshops. They can also be left in shared staff spaces, such as rest areas and cafeterias, as prompts for informal discussions on security.
The cards can be printed as posters, or displayed on websites, perhaps as a means of making contact to share feedback and ideas concerning security.
We have also developed a variety of customizable resources, including display posters; staff wallet cards; manager checklists; induction briefings; intranet blogs; CEO email templates; and PowerPoint briefing. The colourful and user-friendly resources highlight the importance of good security and encourage positive security behaviours and vigilance amongst staff.
A selection of the resources can be edited, allowing local contact details to be inserted, i.e., an organization’s name, logo and contact details for local aviation security managers.
Two short educational films have been produced to help raise aviation security awareness and highlight that “Security is Everyone’s Responsibility“.
The first film shared below, which is just under nine minutes in duration, is designed for all staff who work in aviation (in security and non-security roles). It explains the benefits of good security behaviours in preventing acts of unlawful interference and highlights how to respond when bad practices are observed.
The second film, which is just over three minutes in duration, is designed for senior managers to help them understand the wider benefits of a positive security culture and the importance of security as a core business value. It contains advice on how organizations can build and maintain a secure airport environment and how to implement a strong and effective security culture.
Both films can be played during team meetings, high-level briefings, and during aviation-related training courses and workshops. They can also be shared electronically with staff and uploaded to local websites to help further disseminate security culture best practices.
We have also created an interactive Fundamentals of Security Culture E-learning Training Package to provide users with a comprehensive understanding of security culture and its importance in an aviation environment. The E-learning is available in different modules for three types of staff (non-security staff, security staff, and senior managers) to provide all with advice on their security practices and how they can implement a robust security culture in their organization.
This training takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete, with users receiving an ICAO certificate upon successful completion of the training.
All of the new security culture training and assistance products are available on the ICAO Security Culture website at no cost to Member States, international organizations, industry and other users and can be found in all the ICAO working languages (except for the e-learning training package which is made available in English only for now).
The products supplement existing ICAO security culture resources on the website, including guidance material, starter packs, toolkits, quizzes and checklists.
The ICAO Security Culture website also includes tools and resources on mitigating insider threats to civil aviation, which includes an Insider Threat Toolkit and a Pamphlet on Managing Insider Risks. This is important as mitigating the insider threat contributes (and is part of) a strong and effective security culture.
I encourage you to utilize all the products and to build them into local and national training programmes. The products can also be a central part of security campaigns as we strive to get all aviation staff and the public to think and act in a security-conscious manner.
For further information on ICAO aviation security training and assistance resources, please contact the ICAO Implementation Support and Development – Security (ISD-SEC) team in the Air Transport Bureau here.
ICAO would like to recognize UK CAA International (CAAi) for working with ICAO to develop the new security culture products, which are also hosted by them here. The CAAi is the technical advisory arm of the newly formed International Group (IG) within the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA). CAAi’s primary focus is providing advisory, training, examination and licencing services to agencies, fellow National Aviation Authorities, and industry.
CAAi also offers a two-day ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS training course that provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of what a security culture is, what the benefits of a security culture are and how it can be embedded. The link is shared below.
About the author
Sylvain Lefoyer is the Deputy Director of the Aviation Security and Facilitation Branch in the Air Transport Bureau of ICAO. He leads teams responsible for developing Aviation Security, Cybersecurity and Facilitation policies, Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), conducting audits of Member States’ aviation security activities, assisting States that are unable to address deficiencies highlighted by those audits, and implementing the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), the Aviation Cybersecurity Strategy and the Traveller Identification Programme (ICAO TRIP) Strategy.
Mr Lefoyer has extensive experience at the senior executive level in policy and regulations development, strategy, oversight, critical incident management and organization development in aviation security and facilitation.