Safety and security have always been Ryanair’s top priority. The company is proud of its industry-leading safety record spanning nearly four decades.
Ryanair’s first flight was in 1985, and its first route was from Waterford, Ireland to London, England. By the following year, Ryanair had already flown 82,000 passengers. Today, Ryanair is Europe’s No. 1 airline by focusing on low fares, fast service and exceptional customer service.
Ryanair anticipates 225 million people will fly its airlines annually by 2026 and 300 million by 2034; therefore, managing the safety of passengers and employees is always critical. Protecting their data and the company’s operational data is critical as well. A severe cyberattack has the potential to impact Ryanair’s operations.
“That’s why we have a keen focus on cybersecurity and put best-in-class practices and policies in place,” said Paul Walsh, Senior Systems Engineer at Ryanair Labs. “We take data protection very seriously because we fly millions of passengers and we employ thousands of aviation professionals. Ryanair will always prioritize the safety and security of our passengers and our people above everything else.”
When Ryanair transitioned from a physical IT environment to a virtual one more than a decade ago, the company decided to restructure data protection because its backup solution didn’t support virtualization or provide an action plan for future backup.
“I didn’t work for Ryanair at the time, but my predecessors were spot on about what the new solution should include — the freedom to back up any workload anywhere without restrictions on hardware, software or environment,” Walsh said. “Back then, cyberthreats weren’t escalating like they are today, but my colleagues had the foresight that cyberthreats could and would increase, so in addition to a robust plan to protect data, the new solution had to provide multiple pathways for backing up endpoints and cloud.”
To ensure robust data protection is in place, Ryanair maintains compliance with several regulatory entities including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Maintaining compliance requires comprehensive data protection as well as monitoring, reporting and analytics.
“No matter where you work, and I know from personal experience because I’ve worked at several places in the past 25 years, you have to know 100% that your data is backed up, safe and accessible in any situation, including an audit,” Walsh said. “My predecessors chose well. Every time Veeam comes up for renewal, we carry on.”
Even though Ryanair considered several replacements for the backup solution, only one delivered modern data protection. Veeam Data Platform Premium Edition provides secure backup and replication, fast and reliable recovery, industry-leading ransomware protection, proactive monitoring, reporting, analytics and proven recovery orchestration.
“We built our backup infrastructure on Veeam’s best practices,” Walsh said. “We shared them with our security team and they confirmed Veeam meets their standards.”