The networks of roads, rails, and metros are physically integrated with each other and with other modes of transportation. ICS is used in all transportation modes, such as highways, aviation, maritime, surface transportation, and pipelines. The complexity of handling transportation systems and the related OT raises security challenges in terms of response to threats and prevention of those threats by coordinating with the available resources. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the US has introduced many relevant security rules and regulations to secure transportation systems from cyber-attacks. Companies such as Transdyn, GE Transportation, and Industrial Defender help transit authorities control real-time train power control systems and wayside signals, create new train schedules, automatically change tracks, and monitor trains from a single control unit.
ICS plays a very crucial role in the aviation sector. Among various transport critical infrastructure, the aviation sector is the most vulnerable and is not only affected by physical threats but also by various cyber threats, mainly due to the increased use of BYOD at airports. This sector has some of the most sophisticated ICS, which helps navigate planes and prevent collisions. Unplanned threats, such as system downtime impact the revenue and the customer satisfaction. SCADA systems deployed at airports remotely control and monitor freight handling, airline catering, facility management, energy supply management, runway lighting, liquid logistics (fueling), and baggage management.
Airports have been given the highest priority in transportation systems, post the 9/11 incident. An estimated USD 20 million was spent by the US on aviation security alone, after the terrorist attacks. Stringent security measures are now being deployed to secure the ICS networks at airports.
The seaport sector comprises all the seaports, vessels, and inland ports. ICS is used for monitoring the cargo and equipment at seaports. The need for ICS security in Maritime Transportation System (MTS) has increased over the past few years. MTS is considered a critical national infrastructure, as the ports are the hubs for international exchange of goods as well as tourism. Many ICS networks are deployed at marine ports, as they help in vessel operations, navigation of ships, and discharge and movement of cargo at the seaports. The potential to import explosives, chemical materials, and weapons through the harbors has become a threat to the global community. Seaports represent the weakest points in the chain, as open seas are always vulnerable to criminal activities. Due to the high levels of risk and inherent difficulties in securing these facilities, port security has become important. Honeywell, with its experience in defense contracting and CIP, offers in-depth security for ports, allowing easier implementation and integration of systems that are already in place.
Surface and mass transportation affects individuals and has an impact on the economies of the nation as well. Highways/bridges and railway infrastructures are extremely vulnerable, as they are the potential targets for terrorists and network attacks that can cause major impacts. In 2003, a Class 1 freight railway virus attack in Mississippi caused the shutdown of signaling and dispatch systems in 23 states, also halting Amtrak trains in that area. Railways have comparably less security when compared to the airports and seaports. This sector is still insufficiently protected because of its huge size, complexity, and the sheer range of threats it is vulnerable to. Companies such as Transdyn, GE Transportation, and Industrial Defender are a few solution providers for real-time train power control systems.
The other transportation systems include subways, tunnels, and other mass transit critical infrastructures that require continuous monitoring and control. It also includes the ICS networks to control equipment, such as elevators, escalators, automatic ticketing systems, fire systems, and Heated, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment.