RMIT tapped to join European railway cyber security project

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RMIT tapped to join European railway cyber security project

€7.7m SAFETY4RAILS program.

Researchers at RMIT University have been tapped to contribute to a European project to protect railway systems from cyber and combined cyber-physical attacks as internet connected devices are increasingly used in railway infrastructure.

The SAFETY4RAILS project focuses on rush-hour rail transport scenarios where large numbers of passengers are using above-ground railways or subterranean metros to commute to work or attend other mass gatherings like sporting events.

RMIT’s Central Asset Management System (CAMS) technology will be used to design a comprehensive asset management system for rail operators.

The system was developed by Professor Sujeeva Setunge from RMIT’s School of Engineering and Professor Ron Wakefield from the School of Property, Construction and Project Management.

It will be extended by Dr Nader Naderpajouh, also from the project management school, to incorporate resilience modelling.

“The new system aims to link asset management and resilience - providing the capability for rail operators to optimise budgets for a given level of resilience planning,” Naderpajouh said.

“The goal is to achieve resilient infrastructure, not only to delay normal wear and tear, but also as a safeguard against potential disasters such as cyber and/or physical attacks.”

The broader SAFETY4RAILS project will be led by Germany’s Fraunhofer Society and is expected to contribute to attack mitigation strategies and provide for more efficient responses to incidents.

It has received €7.7 million (A$12.56 million) from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program and was inspired by incidents such as the WannaCry cyber attack in 2017 and the 2004 Madrid commuter train bombings.

Solutions proposed when the project wraps up in September 2022 will be validated by two transport operators and continuously updated.

Product demonstrations will take place in Spain, Italy and Turkey.

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