Public transport systems are becoming more dependent on digital technology, making the risk of cyberattacks increasingly real. Therefore, operators must prioritize security measures to protect these digital systems from malicious actors. They should recognize its significance and prioritize it as a top priority to safeguard passengers, employees, and infrastructure from malicious cyberattacks.
With the rise of the Internet of Things, public transport systems are becoming increasingly interconnected, meaning a breach in one system could quickly ripple effects throughout others. Therefore, operators must remain vigilant to protect their operational systems (OT) and guarantee that their security measures are up-to-date and capable of responding rapidly to new threats. Without adequate safeguards, operators risk exposing their passengers and systems to malicious actors with serious potential damages.
One of the primary reasons why cybersecurity should be a top priority for public transport operators is because of the potential repercussions of an attack. A successful system breach could cause service disruptions, data loss, and harm passengers physically. For example, manipulating a train's signaling control system could result in a collision and serious injury or death to passengers.
Cybersecurity should be a top priority for public transport operators due to the growing use of internet-connected devices and systems. As more systems become interconnected, there is an increased risk of vulnerabilities or security gaps that cybercriminals could exploit. Therefore, public transport operators must ensure that all their systems and devices are secure and regularly updated to prevent potential breaches.
Public transport operators have a duty to their passengers to guarantee their safety and security. Cybersecurity is essential to fulfilling this responsibility, as cyberattacks can compromise passenger safety and infrastructure integrity. By prioritizing cybersecurity measures, operators can reduce these risks and guarantee their passengers travel safely and securely.
Finally, public transport operators should prioritize cybersecurity due to the potential threat of online attacks, the growing use of internet-connected devices and systems, and their responsibility to their passengers. By prioritizing cybersecurity measures, they can protect their systems and passengers from potential breaches while ensuring their operations remain secure.
Bringing Cybersecurity Even More Forward
In recognition of the need to address these cyber-related challenges and the growth of emerging technologies in the Public Transportation sector, at last month’s Business Members Annual Meeting of the Business Members Board of Governors (BMBG), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) approved a new Committee to help APTA’s business members recognize and better manage the opportunities and risks associated with cybersecurity and new/emerging technology.
The committee will:
- Liaise with the APTA Procurement and Supply Chain Committee on procurement language that addresses topics related to emerging technology issues such as cybersecurity, open-source software, and data management.
- The Committee will also seek to identify barriers and opportunities for a broader representation of small businesses to participate in the procurement process.
- Liaise with APTA’s Security Standards Working Groups on cybersecurity standards, materials, and education. Again, it will identify opportunities for business members to engage in the delivery of cybersecurity support services, especially with the smaller and mid-sized public agencies.
- Facilitate exposure of new technology providers to business members.
APTA Members that wish to join this Committee can contact APTA’s Christina Garneski or one of the Committee’s Co-Chairs, Scott Belcher or Chris Crawford. The first organizing meeting of the Committee will be in mid-February.