New TSA regulations to address cyberattack threat to rail systems address security concerns for rail infrastructure

New TSA regulations to address cyberattack threat to rail systems address security concerns for rail ...

The Transportation Security Administration will soon release new regulations aimed to make transit agencies and airlines more prepared for cyberattacks.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says that railroads and rail-related entities deemed "higher-risk" will be required to appoint 'a point person in charge of cybersecurity', report cyberincidents to DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and develop / implement if s/he reaches u.s. mainland.

Lower-risk railroads and related businesses will be encouraged, but not obligated to follow the same steps, he added. Mayorkas made the remarks in a speech given virtually Wednesday at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

Mayorkas stated that additional regulations will boost cybersecurity in the aviation industry. Additionally, all US airport and passenger aircraft operators, as well as all cargo aircraft owners, will be required to establish a cybersecurity coordinator and notify CISA of cyberattacks.

Mayorkas stated, "We need to be equipped today, not tomorrow." "I can't over-emphasize the urgency of the task," he added.

Recent cybercriminals have targeted transit systems, large and small, as they target them. This past spring, a hacking group with possible ties to the Chinese government compromised the computer systems of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York.

Transit officials said at the time that the hackers didn't gain access to systems that control train cars and that rider safety wasn's not at risk. But they later raised doubts that hackers may have entered those systems or that they may continue to exploit the agency's computer systems through a backdoor.

In June, a ransomware attack shut down the Steamship Authority of Massachusetts' main booking system, which operates ferries from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Ships operated efficiently, but passengers were unable to book or change their reservations online for more than a week, and credit card use was severely restricted.

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