Railroad IT security on track
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Oct 03, 2000
A new partnership will put the railroad industry on the fast track to securing
systems on which railroads rely for scheduling, positioning and communications.
Under the partnership announced Monday, the Transportation Department and
the Association of American Railroads will work closely to identify vulnerabilities
and share information about threats, according to a DOT statement.
Railroads use computers for safety, efficiency and customer service, said
Edward Hamberger, president and chief executive officer of the AAR, in the
DOT statement. For example, the rail industry plans to use precise information
from Global Positioning System satellites to determine location and speed,
which will improve safety and service.
DOT and AAR will sponsor industry workshops in the next few months to raise
awareness of the threats and vulnerabilities to the nation's railroads and
other transportation modes, DOT said, adding that from those workshops,
the organizations will develop strategies to address those threats.
AAR will establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) for
transportation, which will be a clearinghouse for receiving, analyzing and
distributing data needed to protect information technology systems.
DOT is also conducting a vulnerability assessment of transportation systems
that rely on GPS for positioning, timing and navigation. Recommendations
for how to protect those assets from intentional or unintentional interference
are expected in December.
The partnership is part of an effort by all federal agencies to identify
and protect their critical information infrastructure under Presidential
Decision Directive 63, which requires critical IT systems to be secure by