Doug Bedell — December 9, 2021, 3:45 pm

Railroads, Too, Get the Federal Cybersecurity Word

The U.S. government’s stress on cybersecurity precautions extends to rail freight and passenger systems, the Digital Guardian blog advises.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a directive
for “all surface transportation owners and operators – namely freight and rail systems – to report all cybersecurity incidents within 24 hours.

“Under the new directives, issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), higher-risk freight railroads, passenger rail, and rail transit owners will need to do the following:

“1. Designate a cybersecurity coordinator;
“2. Report cybersecurity incidents to CISA within 24 hours;
“3. Develop and implement a cybersecurity incident response plan to reduce the risk of an operational disruption; and,
“4. Complete a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment to identify potential gaps or vulnerabilities in their systems.

“According to The Wall Street Journal, the directives will change how about 80% of freight rail owners and 90% of passenger rail systems currently report incidents. Those that aren’t deemed ‘high risk’ are still being encouraged to implement the same measures, according to the DHS’ announcement.”

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