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TSA Announces Plan to Improve Cybersecurity for Rail, Airline Industries

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a plan to introduce regulations that force the top railroads and airports in the United States to improve their cybersecurity procedures.

According to Reuters.com, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday that “higher-risk” rail transit companies and airport and aircraft operators will be required to do three things: name a chief cyber official, disclose hacks to the government and draft recovery plans for if an attack were to occur.

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The renewed focus on cybersecurity procedures comes after an attack on a major U.S. pipeline operator, which caused shortages along the East Coast in May. The government is concerned about future ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure companies.

“Whether by air, land, or sea, our transportation systems are of utmost strategic importance to our national and economic security,” Mayorkas told Reuters. “The last year and a half has powerfully demonstrated what’s at stake.”

The regulations are scheduled to go into effect before the end of 2021.

New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Technology Officer Rafail Portnoy said they are “constantly vigilant against this global threat, and will ensure compliance with any TSA regulations.”

Officials from Airlines for America also announced they are working with the TSA and other agencies on cyber security and noted they want to “reduce any potential duplicative reporting.”

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