The airline industry is one of the pillars of today’s global economy and in the United States alone, drives $1.5 trillion in economic activity annually and more than 11 million jobs. The number of fare-paying commercial airline passengers exceeds 3 billion in 2014, increasing 4.1 percent per year; with an even greater number of individual flights being made across the world by private, general aviation, cargo, and military aircraft.
To maintain operational compliance of these high-value commercial aircraft, aviation authorities have created a very rigorous set of procedures that govern how aircraft are maintained, repaired, and overhauled. As more airlines turn to web-based maintenance records systems to help better manage these activities, securing the massive number of documents across a global ecosystem of internal operations and external vendors is critical to preserving the overall effectiveness of all the measures being taken.
Commercial airlines are a high-profile industry – and such a familiar part of our everyday lives – that the risk of attracting attention from Internet offenders is evident. In 2014 the FAA recorded a daily average of nearly 60 million cyberrelated “alerts”, up dramatically from 4 million per day in 2011. Without focused efforts to mitigate the escalating number of threats, the rapidly intensifying situation has the potential to impact operational compliance and continued airworthiness of the industry.
A market-leading innovator, Texas-based AirVault, is getting a lot of attention for its secure cloud-based document management software services, specifically designed for the aviation industry. The company provides a suite of specialized tools and applications that facilitate workflow, distribution, verification, and analysis of aircraft maintenance documentation.
Trusted by some of the best-known and most successful airlines in the sky – including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, SAS, and Air Canada – AirVault manages the maintenance records for in excess of 3,500 aircraft, including almost one fifth of the global commercial fleet. Over 25,000 AirVault users worldwide manage 5.1 billion documents in a private, secure cloud hosted at the company’s fully redundant data centers.
John Oldham, AirVault’s CEO, commented, “To earn the continued trust of the global aviation community we have made security and data integrity mission-critical imperatives for AirVault. To address the numerous mandates from all the governing bodies involved, and based on a strong recommendation from a highly-respected partner, we made a decision to implement Vormetric Data Security Manager across all of our structured and unstructured data.”
AirVault deployed Vormetric Data Security Manager to consolidate access policies and key management throughout its Microsoft-based infrastructure. Oldham noted, “Despite the sophistication of our environment, the implementation was extremely straightforward.”
He continued, “Although we’ve maintained a focus on the aviation sector, the unique and compelling value proposition of AirVault offerings has attracted several other related applications, each with its own set of requirements. For example, airlines using AirVault’s Aircraft Maintenance Records SaaS application are now extending this service for their crew records, necessitating HIPAA compliance; and managing financial records for their aircraft parts purchases, requiring the transactional security of PCI and the controls of Sarbanes-Oxley.
“Vormetric gives us immediate compliance with the diverse encryption requirements of a broad range of sectors without having to perform any modifications to our applications or infrastructure.”
The magnitude of the aviation industry’s extended worldwide infrastructure makes it challenging to guaranty total security. However, because it allows for the encryption of data in physical, virtual and cloud environments, Vormetric technology greatly expands the protection afforded by traditional security measures. Oldham affirmed, “Without the correct keys, even if you can get to the information, you can’t do anything with it anyway!”
The inexorable growth of global cyber threats has further elevated the importance of security throughout an already highly sensitized industry. “We absolutely do make security our highest priority!” proclaimed Oldham. “We can now offer customers the combined advantages of the business agility, cost advantage, and efficiency of SaaS and Cloud delivery models, all underpinned by a FIPS 140-2 Certified Encryption Solution. It’s a true competitive differentiator for AirVault.”
Oldham concluded, “AirVault’s deployment of Vormetric Data Security Manager has allowed us to raise the bar for data security in the aviation maintenance sector. Its flexibility optimally positions us to stay in front of the continually growing levels of regulatory and compliance requirements.”
Vormetric (@Vormetric) is the industry leader in data security solutions that span physical, virtual and cloud environments. Data is the new currency and Vormetric helps over 1,500 customers, including 17 of the Fortune 30 and many of the world’s most security conscious government organizations, to meet compliance requirements and protect what matters — their sensitive data — from both internal and external threats. The company’s scalable Vormetric Data Security Platform protects any file, any database and any application — anywhere it resides — with a high performance, market-leading data security platform that incorporates application transparent encryption, privileged user access controls, automation and security intelligence. For more information, please visit: www.vormetric.com.