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Developing a Physical and Cyber Security Primer for Transportation Agencies (2020)

Chapter: Chapter 5 Future Research Needs

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 Future Research Needs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Developing a Physical and Cyber Security Primer for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25869.
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Page 17

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16 Chapter 5 Future Research Needs During the course of this research project, the research team recognized that there has been a significant amount of research completed in the areas of physical and cyber security. There is still additional work that remains to be done. This section outlines future research needs based on the findings of this research project. • Understanding the relationship between resilience and security and the impact that relationship has on the roles, needs and capabilities of state DOTs. More specifically, understanding how resilience can be built into physical and cyber security efforts and planning. • Research for all transportation modes to improve security and infrastructure protection especially in the areas of adaptations to enhance resilience and address cyber security. Due to the complexity of today’s transportation systems and human fallibility, perfect security may be impossible to achieve, so a more effective strategy might be to assume that an incident will happen and focus on identifying ways to mitigate the consequences. • With the increased focus on performance measures, research is needed to identify and develop ways to evaluate resilience, security, infrastructure protection, and cyber security so as to provide effective performance measures for state DOTs to use. • Better understanding and documenting of the benefits of mitigation and resilience. News stories have identified the benefits of improved building codes on reduced impacts from Hurricane Irma, and have identified how communications recovered quickly in most areas in Houston in the aftermath of Harvey. What are documented financial and economic benefits from transportation investments that foster resilience? Over time the fundamental responsibilities have not changed—providing safe and resilient transportation systems— but terminology, policy and guidance have increased. • Understanding the interdependencies of all transportation modes and other sectors such as power, water, communications on emergency management and its impact on state DOTs and other transportation agencies. • Understanding how to identify and train the resources needed to carry out all-hazards resilience-focused emergency management recognizing that it is difficult for most transportation agencies to allocate significant personnel, monetary, and material resources to planning and training for events that occur on infrequent bases or may not occur in their state or region.

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Small events pose threats of great consequences since the impact of any incident is magnified when a transportation network is operating at or past its capacity—as is the case in portions of many states as travel demand on their transportation networks grows.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 266: Developing a Physical and Cyber Security Primer for Transportation Agencies is a supplemental document to NCHRP Research Report 930: Update of Security 101: A Physical Security and Cybersecurity Primer for Transportation Agencies.

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