Boeing Opens Cyber Facility in Singapore

By Allyson Versprille
Boeing opened a cyber analytics facility in Singapore in July that it hopes will increase collaboration with U.S. partners, said a company executive. 

“The center is as much about analysis as it is about collaboration,” said Per Beith, director of Boeing’s information security solutions.  And “you can’t just collaborate in a region. You really need to collaborate across the allies, across the world, because that’s how business is done today.”

The new facility in Singapore, which is the first international facility of its kind for the company, will employ local residents, Beith said.

It’s critical “that you can hire and train people locally who understand the culture, who understand the economy, who understand the politics of that particular region because all of those elements are part of understanding the cyber threat problem,” he said. Training locals is not only cost effective but is beneficial to the company because a foreign government is more likely to grant citizens rather than non-citizens access to sensitive information, he added.

Additionally, international cyber analytics facilities give the company’s U.S. counterpart an advantage when dealing with domestic attacks, Beith said. “We’re … looking at what’s happening around the world because what happens in one region in the world is likely to carry over into other regions of the world.”

Boeing chose Singapore because of its business friendly nature, stability and strong need for better cyber protections, Beith said. Enhancing online security in the region also provides an advantage to Boeing because the company uses suppliers in the city-state for its commercial and military airplane business.

“We … have been doing business with the country of Singapore, the government of Singapore, industry in Singapore since their founding 50 years ago,” he said. “It is in our best interest to make sure that our partners and our customers have cybersecure capabilities because we don’t succeed as a company unless we help our customers succeed.”

As more of Boeing’s systems rely on robust networks to operate, the company has turned its attention toward cybersecurity measures. All commercial planes, military aircraft and satellites that Boeing produces are networked, Beith said.

“If someone is able to shut down the power system or the transportation system or an airport system, then our big business called ‘airplanes’ isn’t going to be very successful,” he said. “Cybersecurity is integral to everything we do.”

A strategic, long-term goal for the company is to expand its network of cyber analytics facilities to other partner nations, Beith said. However, Boeing will observe the performance of the facility in Singapore and take lessons learned before moving forward. 

Topics: Cyber, Cybersecurity

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