Alstom sign MoU to advance knowledge of cyber-security in rail

Alstom have signed a MoU with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute to strengthen rail cyber-security.

Alstom and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute (GCI) have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining their collaboration to advance transportation cyber-security, specifically in the areas of education, development, and research.

Strengthening cyber-security in rail transport

Alstom and RIT’s ESL GCI have established five pillars of collaboration, which include Alstom ‘as a teacher’ and student projects, student/talent recruitment activities, corporate training and education, and sponsored research.

“Alstom’s innovative mobility solutions are helping to revolutionise railways and railway communications by boosting intelligence and functionality in rail assets,” Eddy Thésée, Vice-President of Cyber-Security Products and Solutions for Alstom, said. “In a world driven by digital, having assurance that data and connected systems are protected is a basic requirement to ensure continuous operations. For this reason, Alstom has placed cyber-security at the heart of its culture of excellence and safety. However, adding more connectivity and intelligence to operations is increasing the exposure of railway systems to external threats. These threats are fast changing, and we must continuously adjust our technologies and defence strategies. Partnering with institutions such as RIT’s ESL GCI creates value for the entire rail sector and cyber-security industry.”

Scarcity of cyber-security professionals is a challenge across all major industries. This is the first North American partnership for Alstom and will enable it to enhance its workforce with well-trained cyber-security engineers to help its customers, particularly with regards to implementing security protection at the local, state and government level. RIT students will have premiere access to Alstom cyber-security engineers and experts via student capstone projects, Alstom-taught signal-security curricula, graduate sponsored research projects, and career opportunities. Through the MoU, Alstom will have access to future talent and the latest knowledge to develop future technologies that will make digital technology smarter and more resilient to cybersecurity threats.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s requirements set forth in its recent directive institutionalise and build upon existing, effective industry practices with an increased focus on strengthening and safeguarding America’s cyber-security for critical infrastructure. Alstom plans to demonstrate with CPTC modelling, how it can secure customers’ rail networks and prevent associated operational disruptions leveraging industry best practices and standards. Alstom will work with RIT’s ESL GCI to model and develop the 2023 collegiate testing competition environment that will focus on railway signalling.