Improve collaboration to overcome cyber-attack security issues, say transportation security leaders

One of the keys to averting cyber-attacks on critical US transportation infrastructure, such as 2016’s ransomware attack on San Francisco’s transit network, lies in industry-wide collaboration, according to security experts working for some of North America’s most well-known transit organisations.

Transport Security World canvassed the opinion of executives, all of whom agreed that working together could put the brakes on the sort of attacks that can bring transportation to its knees.

Among those contacted by Transport Security World include Stephen Covey, chief of police and chief security officer of Canadian National Railway, CN Railway, who said that the success or failure of keeping North America’s critical transportation infrastructure secure largely depended upon “the level of collaboration and shared responsibility of government, industry and the public. All three contributors,” maintained Covey, “are equally important and only by working together can they really make a difference.”

Concerning maritime security, David Espie, director of security at Maryland Port Administration in Baltimore, US, said “sound maritime security requires local, State and federal assets and cooperation to ensure a strong landside and waterside security defense mechanism.” Echoing this point, Bob Gauvin, director of counter piracy policy office of commercial vessel compliance at the United States Coast Guard, said: “Layered security and coordinated governance in the maritime domain allows for the most effective abilities of states to work in alliance against ever-changing maritime threats.”

With the rapid digitisation of the industry, what is clear is that security shouldn’t just be a priority for CISO’s – it should also be on the minds of all heads of departments. Deborah Wheeler, chief information security officer at Delta Airlines, was clear over her employer’s priorities. “Working across Delta as we face the challenges of a highly connected airline and highly connected customers. It’s bigger than one team,” she told Transport Security World.

In addition to aiding collaboration between the transportation industry and government, company and customer and internal departments, Transport Security World are also trying to foster partnerships between different transportation verticals. That’s why they’re organising Transport Security and Safety Expo Washington D.C. this summer.

Taking place June 11-12, in the US capital the event will bring together under one roof security and safety professionals across aviation, maritime, rail, highway, haulage and industry suppliers to share best practice and improve the overall standard of security across the board. It’s a packed agenda and will offer the invaluable opportunity to hear from, and meet, some of the big players in the transportation industry. For more information about the show, visit the Transport Security and Safety Expo website.