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ERCI – European Railway Clusters Initiative

120 participants at ERCI Cybersecurity Taskforce in Florence at Italcertifer

The 4th meeting of the “ERCI Cybersecurity in Railways Task Force” was held in Florence, organized by DITECFER, our railway cluster in Italy. For such event, DITECFER chose the location of the Rolling Stock Laboratories in Osmannoro, owned by RFI – the Italian State Railways Infrastructure Manager, and managed by Italcertifer – the company of the Italian State Railways providing testing and certification activities.

Around 120 persons attended, representing the main Italian companies of the rail supply industry plus some attendances from ERCI members in Spain, Germany, France, Israel.

The agenda built by DITECFER aimed to inspire the participants from the awareness to the technological point of view. The key-note speech by DITECFER Coordinator, Veronica Elena Bocci, also representing ERCI Board, set the challenging scene for the day.

The event then brought on stage the institutional and R&D bodies with thorough competences in the cybersecurity field: ECSO-European Cyber Security Organisation, IEC-International Electrotechnical Commission and the Cyber Academy of the University of Modena and Reggio. Key-messages to the participants were sent from these speakers, that clearly highlighted the real risk the railway sector is facing, and raising the key-point that there won’t ever be enough money to protect all aspects of railway systems, so the key-focus has necessarily to go on reducing the consequences of cyberattacks.

The operational aspects were covered by FSI-the Italian State Railways, that – unlike other railways in Europe and America – received thousands of attacks but had no damage up to now because of huge R&D investments; the certification aspects – that will be modified by new TSIs and Common Safety Rules that will take into account cybersecurity – were covered by Italcertifer. As large industries, Thales Italia and Mer Mec presented the available solutions they have developed to mitigate the cyber risks in railway transportation, with special reference to the track-side assets and systems.

The final SMEs Session was also very inspirational, because the 6 case-studies presented very specific solutions on specific aspects of the railway system: from ResilTech, developing methodologies and solutions for systems’ resilience to Cylus (Israel), developing a comprehensive solution specific for the railway sector; from H-ON with strong know-how on industrial cybersecurity applicable to railway environment, to Sysnet Telematica and Barracuda, developing firewall solutions, and finally UM-Labs (United Kingdom) developing cybersecurity solutions for VOIP systems.

The 5th “ERCI Cybersecurity in Railways Task Force” meeting will be held on March 28th in Berlin.

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