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Knowledge is protection

If an attacker breaches a transit agency’s systems, the impact could reach far beyond server downtime or leaked emails. Imagine an attack against a transportation authority that manages train and subway routes. The results could be terrible.

Between June of 2020 and June of 2021, the transportation industry witnessed a 186% increase in weekly ransomware attacks. In one event, attackers breached the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) systems. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but incidents like these are cause for concern. It’s clear that transport organizations require strong security to keep their systems and passengers safe.

The motives driving attacks against transport agencies can vary. Intrusive actors may steal information or use ransomware for financial gain. Meanwhile, other attackers might receive support from foreign nations seeking to cause a disruptive or destructive effect to advance foreign policy goals. While any incident may result in systems disruption, foreign attacks may include a higher risk of equipment malfunctions and accidents.

Cyber crime is not a fair game

Overview & Areas of Concern

Given the widespread, ongoing threat against the transport industry, the TSA has developed a toolkit. If we dig into the directives for rail, public transportation and surface transportation, we find that cybersecurity coordination, reporting and response plans are critical. Vulnerability assessment is also a high priority, and the TSA recommends that agencies refer to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework as a guide.

Vulnerability assessment should include Internet of Things (IoT) as more sensors and devices are deployed in the industry. In order to align the many moving parts and logistics of any transport system, IoT devices are essential. However, device connections are potential points of entry for attackers, and you should also assess this risk.

Transportation Attack Risk Mitigation

Like any organization, transportation agencies are exposed to the threat of cyberattack, but the stakes may be higher. That’s one of the reasons Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, said that “ransomware now poses a national security threat.” While the TSA directives address incident response, where can one find advice about risk mitigation?

failure is not an option

How the U.S. Department of Transportation is protecting the connected transportation system from cyber threats?  The last few decades have witnessed the pervasive spread of computers, the Internet, and wireless technology. As these systems have become integral to our daily lives, so too has the potential for attacks to those systems. Cyber security has risen out of necessity to protect these vital systems and the information contained within them. In particular, transportation is becoming more connected and dependent on advanced computing systems and software. Exciting next-generation communications technology—such as connected vehicles that exchange information in real time with nearby vehicles and infrastructure to make travel safer, cleaner, and more efficient— will soon be deployed on nation’s roads and highways.

Cyber Security to Consider

Free Cyber Review
Compromise Assessment and Vulnerability Scan
Virtual Chief Information Security Officer
SOC Compliance.

Practice Areas

Security Monitoring/Security Operation Center (SOC) Virtual CISO (vCISO)
Security Assessment
Security Compliance Support (Audit Preparation)
CMMC Assistance
SOC 2 Type 1 & Type 2 Assistance
Digital Forensics
Security Controls Preparation (NIST / CMMC)
Security Architecture Design/Support
Security Awareness Training
Vulnerability Management
Security Policy creation

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Our nation’s transportation industry quickly, safely, and securely moves people and goods across the country and overseas. This sector includes aviation, automobiles and motor carriers, maritime transportation, and railways. As this critical industry becomes more dependent on interconnected digital systems, the risk of cyberattacks rises. Historically more concerned with protecting passengers and cargo from physical threats, the industry now faces an alarming increase in cyber attacks. 

Manipulation of Data
Unauthorized access to infrastructure
Operational disruptions
Intellectual property theft
The number of ransomware attacks is increasing across all sectors, but transportation entities are seemingly bearing the brunt of this trend. Because transportation companies have not historically deployed large security teams to protect their digital assets, they are more acutely affected by the global cybersecurity skills gap than other businesses. 

Our goal is to help people in the best way possible. This is a basic principle in every case and cause for success. contact us today for a free consultation. 


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