technology and research by other agencies could be useful for protecting surface transportation against cyber threats to these systems. An R&D effort in this area by DOT could develop broad guidelines to assist developers of surface transportation infrastructure control systems in making their systems more resistant to cyber attacks. The emphasis should be on ensuring that control systems degrade gracefully, which may require planned redundancy, backup plans, and other measures.

As noted in Chapter 2, a clearer picture of the interdependencies of transportation C3 systems with other parts of the surface transportation system would be extremely useful.

Finally, control systems could benefit from disaster planning exercises, such as preplanning and modeling. Because control in transportation systems tends to be real-time, test beds distinct from operational systems often already exist, and these could be used to work on disaster planning.

Summary

The R&D topics described in this chapter are intended to illustrate the application of the strategy discussed in Chapter 3. When DOT conducts a more complete and thorough evaluation using that strategy, it may or may not find them to be the highest-priority topics. Nevertheless, four themes are sure to remain:

  • the value of taking a dual-use approach, in which security objectives are furthered at the same time as other transportation goals
  • the potential for more use of modeling to improve understanding of the scope of the security problem
  • the importance of DOT's role in developing and disseminating information about best practices that use existing technologies and processes, including low-technology alternatives
  • the need to consider security as part of a broader picture, not a wholly new and different problem, but one that is similar and closely connected to the transportation community's previous experience in responding to concerns about safety, natural disasters, and hazardous materials


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