Rail News

DATE

October 08 , 2021


U.S. to tell critical rail, air companies to report hacks, name cyber chiefs

Reuters 
October 6, 2021 (US)

The Transportation Security Administration will introduce regulations that compel the most important U.S. railroad and airport operators to improve their cybersecurity procedures, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Wednesday.

The upcoming changes will make it mandatory for "higher-risk" rail transit companies and "critical" U.S. airport and aircraft operators to do three things: name a chief cyber official, disclose hacks to the government and draft recovery plans for if an attack were to occur.

The planned regulations come after cybercriminals attacked a major U.S. pipeline operator, causing localized gas shortages along the U.S. East Coast in May. The incident led to new cybersecurity rules for pipeline owners in July.

"Whether by air, land, or sea, our transportation systems are of utmost strategic importance to our national and economic security," Mayorkas said. "The last year and a half has powerfully demonstrated what’s at stake."

A key concern motivating the new policies comes from a growth in ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure companies.

"It’s the first of its kind with respect to the cyber focus," said a senior homeland security official, who declined to be named, about the railway security directive and an update to aviation security programs.

Rafail Portnoy, Chief Technology Officer with the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it is "constantly vigilant against this global threat, and will ensure compliance with any TSA regulations."

The industry group Airlines for America said the issue is important to them and noted they already work closely with the TSA and other agencies on cyber security and noted they want to "reduce any potential duplicative reporting."

Source
https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-us-tell-critical-rail-air-companies-report-hacks-name-cyber-chiefs-2021-10-06/

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