System cybersecurity must begin with engineering, Air Force general says

April 28, 2016

The Air Force needs to look beyond cybersecurity as a battle between desktop computers and start thinking about how it affects aircraft and systems, a top general said Thursday.

“In the Air Force, we are behind the power curve in understanding the implications to our aircraft of cybersecurity,” said Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the head of Air Force Materiel Command.

“The view is: Okay, if it’s not plugged into the network, it’s safe,” she continued. “But there are so many connections to the network, to our satellites, to our aircraft and our other systems that we have to be thinking about cyber when you’re in an F-15. An F-15 can be as vulnerable to a cyber attack.”

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Center for Media and Security in Washington. Pawlikowski said the service is seeing more advanced cyberattacks than ever before.

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