“When we talked about security on the railroad, we were worried about the theft of goods, people stealing stuff out of trains…but that literally has been overtaken by cybersecurity as the major concern for railroads around the country, both passenger and in transit, because the possibility of widespread disruption.” // Scott Gorton, Executive Director, Surface Policy Division, Policy, Plans, & Engagement, TSA
Hours before the Transport Security Administration (TSA) released its third set of security directives for rail, Scott Gorton, Executive Director of Surface Policy Division, Policy, Plans, & Engagement, TSA, took the stage at Hack the Railroad hosted by Cylus and MISI and gave an overview of what was to come.
The security directives include implementing network segmentation and controls, access control measures, continuous monitoring and detection policies and procedures, and risk reduction. Gorton explains that the directive would not be prescriptive but rather outcome-focused, giving latitude to the rail industry in achieving the desired outcomes. In the presentation, Gorton emphasizes that the rail industry must identify its critical cyber systems and put the necessary protections in place to secure them.
The TSA’s new security directive for rail reflects the government's commitment to securing critical infrastructure against cyber threats. By taking a more outcome-focused approach and working with the industry, TSA hopes to create a practical and effective set of requirements that can be implemented to improve the cybersecurity posture of the rail industry.