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Online services create security headache for airlines

At the same time as embracing web-based services such as online check-in, airlines are expressing concerns over the attendant security issues
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Written by Tom Espiner, Senior Reporter on

The increasing use of IP-based networks and online services is giving rise to security concerns at airlines, according to airline industry IT body Sita.

A Sita survey of 152 airlines, released on Tuesday, claimed that migration to IP-enabled networks, the expanded use of internet-facing self-service systems, and an increase in passenger numbers have all contributed to security concerns among airlines.

In addition, 74 percent of respondents said that migration to IP-based networks had also increased exposure to security breaches.

While only just over half of the airlines surveyed in the Sita 2007 Airline IT Trends Survey currently offer check-in over the web, 89 percent expect to offer it within the next two years. By then, 52 percent of airlines are planning to offer self-boarding services and 76 percent plan to implement mobile-phone check-in services.

"Each of these services adds new layers to the physical and IT security equation, increases security risks and poses the challenge to deliver secure services in a fast and efficient manner," the survey stated.

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