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Transportation Systems Cybersecurity Framework - Implementation Guide
Transportation Systems Cybersecurity Framework - Implementation Guide
Each new tool being added to an IT infrastructure means an opportunity for cyberpunks to exploit your data or other cyber assets. Take the example of the transportation domain itself. As the penetration of advanced technologies like ticketing systems, vehicle trackers, GPS, and many more is increasing in the sector, the attack surface is also expanding. This is why experts recommend giving enough focus on the betterment of security arrangements.
In 2011, Transportation Systems Sector (TSS), alongside security administrators belonging to the same industry, came up with one guide, TSS Cybersecurity Framework Implementation Guidance, that helped this industry player understand their strengths and weaknesses in terms of digital security more accurately. Let’s talk about it next.
Goals And Objectives
This guide aims to spread awareness about the importance of applying transportation-specific digital security standards, using the right resources, and adopting NIST Framework’s best practices.
It helps organizations regardless of whether a robust program for risk management/mitigation for your digital infrastructure and entities exists.
As it can nudge your business in the right direction when it comes to securing it, the guide does more work in case of the absence of any official policy that governs management of the risk.
If this program exists, it is useful for finding out the caveats and future areas of scope.
The diligent adoption of this guide can lead to the following:
Channelizing the ideal security arrangements in the right direction
Decide which security strategy/posture is ideal for the system
Early detection of the need for improvements in the risk management/mitigation program
Find out which all digital security tools and technologies are useful in your case
Aligning Strategic Goals of TSS With NIST’s Framework
Businesses in the TSS need to follow NIST Framework as it helps improve their online as well as on-premises digital security. However, while one plans to do so, it’s important to find out the common grounds for these two.
Goal 1 is to provide a conceptual description of the business’s digital environment so that people know what should be protected or remain under observation.
As per NIST’s Framework, the entities to consider here are access control, asset management, InfoSec, maintenance, response strategization, recovery planning, and risk assessment/management. So, this categorization gives a pretty clear idea about the score of cybersecurity programs.
Goal 2 is to make people participate on a regular basis voluntarily. NIST Framework instructs business ventures to communicate about digital security as much as possible. The more security-specific discussions within a team, the better the awareness.
Maintaining continual awareness is TSS Goal 3. Awareness & training gets a lot of importance. The use of protective technology is also a category of the NIST Framework that is useful in completing the goal 3.
TSS Goal 4 is to increase intelligence and maintain a better flow of security information/updates within the organization. The NIST Framework categories like analysis, anomalies, security detection process, event data, and continuous monitoring of security align well with this objection of TSS.
The final TSS objective is to make sure that the deployment is strategic, well-coordinated, and sustainable that is easily achievable by setting up an SOP-driven business ecosystem and strong governance, as stated by NIST’s Framework.
Up next, we will explain the standardized procedures to follow during the implementation of the TSS-preferred cybersecurity guide. One must keep in mind that the guidance implementation should be conducted in a way that aligns well with an organization's existing culture. The deployment is fully standardized and is based on the three-step strategy.
Step #1 - Determine the risk profile
The implementation process starts by finding out the cyber risks that an organization is facing. Creating the cyber risk profile forms the foundation of the NIST Framework’s implementation. With a skillfully designed risk profile, it’s easy to determine how willing an organization is to deal with risks in the digital world.
Sketching online risks also helps an organization make data-driven decisions.
While designing the risk profile, make sure it has internal and external context. In the internal context, organizations must understand what all countermeasures are active and how well they align with the existing digital security program. The concern in the external context is to pay attention to the threat intelligence measures as guided by the Department of Homeland Security.
The more data-intensive a cyber-risk profile is, the better understanding an organization will have about the security posture.
Step #2 - Establish the priorities
Once you are done sketching the risk profiling, you’re good to move to the second stage of the implementation, which is setting up the priorities. At this stage, organizations have a chance to understand where the scope to improve the cybersecurity posture exists.
In general, three categories of priorities include high-risk priorities, disruption to business operation risk priorities, and low-risk priorities.
The priority set-up is also useful to pivot the attention according to the seriousness of the risk and allocate resources accordingly. Risks with more potential should be on the top of the priority list and need immediate action.
Step #3 - Solutions Implementation
At the last stage of NIST implementation, TSS organizations are allowed to select and implement the right kind of digital security solution. There is no standardized protocol for selecting the solutions. Organizations are allowed to select the tool they want.
But, experts recommend referring to some publications and standards that provide mild guidance on solutions selection. The consider-worthy options are CIS Controls, NIST SP 800-53, and NIST SP 800-82.
However, if you’re refereeing these, make sure you’re only grasping the latest data and are following the suggestions only if they sound fitting for your organization.
Protection Against Cyber Attacks With Wallarm
TSS is facing more and more digital risks with each passing day, and strong measures should be taken to keep digital assets safe. Gladly, NIST Framework does a great job. But, its scope becomes limited when it comes to APIs and microservices.
TSS organizations using this advanced technology need a more advanced online security tool. Wallarm is an ultra-modern API security platform that offers various inventive security solutions. Using its tools, TSS businesses can increase the visibility of the risks, spread awareness, have a proactive action system, and monitor security profiles in detail.
Its offerings include:
API Security Platform that is useful to keep cyber-risk away from the APIs that your transportation systems are using. The tool works with all the leading API types and is compatible with all the leading cloud ecosystems. It can integrate well with the current security infrastructure and DevOps workflows.
Cloud-native WAAP is a comprehensive web and API protection solution that is far more advanced than outdated WAF. The evident shortcoming of legacy WAFs, like high maintenance, inability to spot novel threats, and no integration with cloud stacks, are not experienced with this modern solution.
API Leak Management is preferred to keep API keys and API secrets safe. Automatically, the solution is to spot any API key leak and take appropriate actions. Adopt these tools and enjoy better security deployments.
How can organizations get started with the TSCF?
Organizations can get started with the TSCF by conducting a self-assessment using the TSCF Self-Assessment Tool. The tool provides a step-by-step process for identifying and assessing cybersecurity risks, and provides recommendations for improving cybersecurity posture. Organizations can also use third-party consultants and auditors to help implement the TSCF.
Is TSCF compliance mandatory?
Compliance with the TSCF is voluntary, but it is recommended for transportation stakeholders to use the framework to manage their cybersecurity risks. The TSCF can be used to support compliance with regulatory requirements, such as the FAA's Safety Management System (SMS) and the US Coast Guard's Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA).
What are the core components of the TSCF?
The TSCF has five core components: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. Each component includes specific activities and subcategories to help transportation stakeholders manage cybersecurity risks
How does the TSCF relate to other cybersecurity frameworks?
The TSCF is aligned with other cybersecurity frameworks, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISO 27001, but it is tailored specifically to the transportation industry. It provides guidance on unique cybersecurity risks and challenges faced by transportation systems, such as safety-critical systems and operational technology.
Who should use the TSCF?
The TSCF is intended for use by transportation system owners and operators, including those in the aviation, maritime, rail, and roadway sectors. It can also be used by government agencies, regulators, and other stakeholders involved in the transportation industry.
What is the purpose of the TSCF?
The purpose of the TSCF is to provide a common language, structure, and methodology for managing cybersecurity risks across transportation systems. It helps transportation stakeholders to identify, assess, and manage risks in a structured and consistent way.