The railway systems of any major country are essentially its arteries - without them modern life would stop.
Network Rail says its railway cyber systems, communications networks and corporate cyber systems must be available 24/7, and cybersecurity is a big part of that as it hekps protect and monitor networks and systems, maintaining their availability and helping to keep the railway running.
The company asserts Britain has the safest major railway in Europe with cybersecurity a key aspect of their plan for introducing digital train control technology. Safety is their top priority and they work closely with government, the security services, their partners and suppliers in the rail industry and security specialists to combat cyberthreats.
“Cyber security is an important element of maintaining a safe and reliable railway. All Network Rail staff are responsible for protecting our rail cyber systems and networks so that they are available, keeping people safe and delivering the service our customers expect,” says Network Rail head of security governance Wayne Watson.
The company maintains dedicated security teams with allocated jobs including monitoring systems networks to deter, detect and respond to cyberthreats and recover their systems should a cyber incident occur, getting them up and running again as soon as possible.
Any staff at Network Rail must complete mandatory security training with the company regularly conducting cybersecurity awareness campaigns in an attempt to keep staff up to speed with cybercrime and be able to understand and recognise potential threats and risks to infrastructure.
According to Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne, the company employs a range of technical and process measures to enhance the protection of their systems and ultimately their business, staff, customers and suppliers against cyberattacks.
“Technology is absolutely crucial to Network Rail, and digital technology is key to the way we run our railway, whether it be our signalling systems or the IT systems we depend on every day,” says Carne.
“Cyber security in particular is vital. We must ensure the integrity of our systems so that we can run a safe and efficient railway.”