CABAA is a grassroots organization formed by business aviation professionals for the purpose of offering our members relevant information, training, and networking experiences to enhance the quality and quantity of business aviation operations in the Chicagoland area.

Aviation Cybersecurity

“Where is my checklist for ‘I’ve just been hacked?’” - A report on the Terry J. Kohler Cybersecurity Symposium by Katy Glynn

Aviation Cyber SecurityLast week the Aviation Safety Research Institute and The Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin hosted a diverse group of aviation attorneys, commercial and corporate pilots and cyber security experts to address the growing threat of cyber-attacks on aircraft. 

Captain Soma Priddle, Esq., a commercial Boeing 767 airline pilot and practicing attorney, cited the critical differences between Common Law and Code Law, and rallied the attendees by pointing out the significant ramifications of a cyber-related international incident, “We can’t just sit back and copy the airlines on this.”

Captain Andy Klischers, an international corporate pilot and SMS auditor, shared his personal experience of encountering and responding to a cyber-attack in-flight. Klischers encouraged other pilots to maintain traditional best practices to avoid being caught off-guard if on-board computer systems are temporarily or permanently disabled. “We’ve just got to get back to being pilots,” he urged – including suggesting a check list for a cyber-attack.

Thys DeBrun, a technical expert in cybersecurity with Pamir Consulting (a Washington D.C. firm that protects U.S. companies from industrial espionage and trade secret theft) had particularly stark warnings about cyber-vulnerabilities in China.  “Any device [connected to the internet in China] is immediately and indefinitely vulnerable.”  DeBrun’s firm recommends CEO’s and support staff alike bring phones and laptops with minimum content to perform and communicate while in China.

Other speakers at the event included Dr. Emanuel Gross, University of Haifa, Israel and Capt. John M. “Jeff” Kohler.

CABAA Commentary:  "The success of this event confirms that awareness and collaboration are what empower those who stand a fighting chance versus those over run by the increasing pace of change in this threat environment.   We in corporate aviation must create awareness with internal stakeholders like internal IT security, aviation technicians, and passengers while building relationships with external stakeholders in manufacturing, communications and ground/facility services to build comprehensive solutions to the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats.  Grassroots effort in these fast-paced arenas is essential in helping connect people with subject matter experts, creating deeper understanding of these threats and the requirements they impose on our processes.” - Guido R. Visconti is the Director of Aviation at Allstate Insurance Co and a CABAA Board Member who attended the conference with two Allstate colleagues, IA & Aero-IT Certified technician Lucas Fifer, and Luis Herrera of Enterprise Security.

For more information on the Aviation Cybersecurity Symposium contact

Katy Glynn is Vice President of JetLease Palm Beach (, the Chairman of the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association Communications Committee (, and a regular contributor to CABAA web content.  Contact her at

The postings on this site do not necessarily represent positions or strategies of their employers, or organization, and are expressly the opinions of the contributor

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