Digitisation of main line and urban railways is gathering pace as policymakers push operators and infrastructure managers to enhance the capacity and efficiency of their networks. But with the widespread adoption of networked tools comes an increasing need to mitigate the risks posed by cyber threats.

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The Cybersecure Railway

Sharvind Appiah, Nick Kingsley, Karsten Oberle, and Paul Dart

In this live debate organised by Railway Gazette on November 30, a panel of high-level speakers addressed the key issues: 

  • What form of cyber threat do railways and metros face today, and what are the best practice techniques to reduce operational risk?
  • How far is the adoption of digital train control technology such as ETCS and CBTC heightening vulnerability to cyber threats?
  • Does the prevalence of legacy infrastructure and telecoms assets in the rail sector cause a particular challenge in terms of digital security?
  • How far do operators need to consider cybersecurity when introducing novel information and entertainment systems for passengers, and how are these services best separated from safety-critical data networks?
  • What lessons can the rail industry learn from cybersecurity policies adopted in other sectors?
  • How far do operators need to adapt their staff training to minimise the ‘human factors’ risks to their digital networks and tools?