The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently issued a new directive to improve the cybersecurity of railroad operations in the US.
According to Security Week, the new directive is part of the White House’s efforts to strengthen critical infrastructure cybersecurity. The requirements highlighted in the directive are aimed at passenger and freight railroad carriers designated by the TSA.
The goal of the directive is to help operators further enhance cyber preparedness and resilience, requiring them to take steps to prevent disruption and infrastructure degradation.
The TSA said there are four major tasks that need to be completed by railway operators – this includes developing network segmentation policies and controls to ensure that OT systems are safe in case of an IT system compromise.
A further task includes creating access controls to prevent unauthorised access to critical systems. Operators must also ensure that these critical systems are covered by continuous monitoring and detection policies and procedures. They also need to ensure that operating systems, applications, drivers and firmware running on critical systems are always up to date and patched.
Rail operators will need to establish and execute a cybersecurity implementation plan, and regularly audit the effectiveness of their cybersecurity measures and address any identified issues.
TSA administrator David Pekoske said, “The nation’s railroads have a long track record of forward-looking efforts to secure their network against cyber threats and have worked hard over the past year to build additional resilience, and this directive, which is focused on performance-based measures, will further these efforts to protect critical transportation infrastructure from attack.”
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