Advancements in improving cybersecurity and rail interoperability

 THE ENGINEERING CONSULTING FIRM, ARDANUY INGENIERIA, LEADS IN COORDINATING THE EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM FOR THE 4SECURAIL PROJECT. THIS R&D INITIATIVE IS PART OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’S SHIFT2RAIL PROGRAMME.

The 4SECURail Project is a public and privately funded R&D initiative which is part of the European Union’s Shift2Rail Programme. Ardanuy is in charge of coordinating the consortium made up of seven different European companies hailing from Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and France. The other six members of the consortium are CNR, FIT, Hit Rail, SIRTI, Tree Technology and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

The objective of the project is to design collaborative processes and tools to be able to coordinate a joint response from all European railways in the face of a possible cyberattack. With this in mind, a formal methods demonstrator is being developed in order to provide the best level of interoperability available for signalling systems, thus ensuring railway safety and efficiency.

The project has three main goals, the first and most important being to develop a Formal Methods (FM) demonstrator. Likewise, the project aims to identify railway signalling subsystems through the use of standard interfaces and, lastly, to specify and evaluate the cost-benefit ratio and learning curves needed to be applied for the correct inclusion of the demonstrator on the rails.

The company Hit Rail B.V., specialised in railway technology, along with its partners the UIC and the R&D company, Tree Technology, are focused on designing and testing a new computer security incident response team (CSIRT). This team manages and coordinates the cybersecurity responses for different railway security teams. The CSIRT has improved this collaboration, which will be tested during 2020/2021, to guarantee the future feasibility of implementing this team by Shift2Rail and its work on the X2RAIL3 as a backup system for the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) and the rail industry of the EU.

At the same time, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) is working conjointly with Ardanuy, FIT Consulting and SIRTI to provide a demonstrator which can evaluate the impact of using formal methods to specify railway infrastructure, signalling and their components in terms of cost-benefit criteria and other learning curves.