The rapid digitalization of railway systems, combined with the increasing interconnectedness of critical infrastructure, brought cybersecurity concerns to the forefront. Historically, railway networks had operated in a more isolated environment. However, as they embraced modern technology, they inadvertently exposed themselves to a new range of cyber threats.
In 2021, CENELEC introduced the CLC/TS 50701:2021, marking a significant milestone in the realm of rail cybersecurity. This technical specification was the world’s first international standard to offer comprehensive cybersecurity guidance tailored specifically for rail applications. While the adoption of new measures can often be a gradual process, the influence of TS 50701 has rapidly extended beyond the borders of the European Union. In just two years, it has become the go-to reference standard for operators seeking to establish their security requirements.
The development of the TS 50701 standard was a collaborative effort driven by a profound understanding of the unique challenges and vulnerabilities faced by the rail industry in the digital age. The framework unfolds into a series of seven core clauses. These clauses serve as the heart of the document, providing a structured framework for addressing cybersecurity within the context of rail applications.
How to comply with TS 50701 for rail?
As stated, “the objective of this standard is to provide guidelines and recommendations for the protection of information technology in railway systems against possible cyber threats.” It emphasizes the holistic security of the entire rail eco-system, from operational technology (OT) and signaling systems to rolling stock and control centers with the below requirements (taken directly from the document):
- “Identification of threats and risks: The standard defines processes for the identification, assessment and management of cyber threats and risks in railway applications. This includes identifying potential vulnerabilities and possible attacks, as well as assessing their impact on operations and security.”
Cervello’s platform employs advanced monitoring tools to keep a vigilant eye on the railway network. Additionally, it excels in automated asset discovery, ensuring every component of the railway network is identified and monitored to promptly detect any anomalies or suspicious activities, and providing insight into the rail operational impact, so operators can respond not only swiftly, but effectively as well.
- “Protection of critical functions: The standard proposes measures for the protection of critical functions in railway applications. This includes technical measures such as data encryption, user authentication, access rights management and network monitoring.”
Cervello conducts comprehensive continuous monitoring, aligning with TS 50701’s emphasis on understanding and mitigating potential vulnerabilities and open threats in rail networks. The platform’s identifying and managing risks ensures that safety-critical and non-safety-critical systems are equally protected with tailor maid rail cyber security policy
- “Incident management: The standard defines procedures for managing cyber incidents in railway applications. This includes incident reporting, investigation and analysis, and taking appropriate action to minimize harm.”
In the event of a cyber incident, Cervello’s platform provides a structured and efficient incident response framework. With the Cevello platform ensures the complete transformation from the cyber incident to the operational impact of the entire railway network. Integration with existing operational and security components makes Cervello a versatile tool, aligning with TS 50701’s call for harmonious security operations.
Furthermore, with Cervello, you can quickly generate detailed reports that demonstrate compliance with TS 50701 and provide detailed evidence of every security incident. These reports are invaluable for regulatory audits and internal assessments. The platform’s alignment with existing industrial cybersecurity standards, like IEC 62443, further solidifies its robustness.
Experts from across the railway industry, cybersecurity specialists, regulatory bodies, and standardization organizations came together to contribute their knowledge and insights and formed the rail adaptation to TS 50701. This collaboration ensured that the standard would be comprehensive and relevant to the diverse range of rail systems operating across Europe. Ensuring compliance with TS 50701 is not merely a regulatory obligation; it is a fundamental step toward enhancing the resilience and reliability of railway operations.