What is cyber security?
Cyber security is the process by which networks, devices, programs and systems are protected from those with who would cause harm by way of unauthorized access. With the recent advancement in technology and their associated connected networks, cyber security in traffic systems has inevitably become necessity. It now sits in the forefront of the decisions makers agenda as they prepare to transcend a new technological frontier. Cyber security can mean different things to different people/entities. For example, a software developer who is directly responsible for the impermeability of a program may have strict standards on encryption. Whereas, in the case of a contractor, cyber security may simply mean preforming in-depth background checks on employees who services and install sensitive equipment. Through various process and audits, both internal and external, it is important that each company identify on an individual bases, what role they play in being better cyber security prepared.
According to the National Cyber Security Action Plan 2019-2024 by Public Safety Canada, cyber security infractions end up costing Canadians in excess of $3 billion annually. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honorable Ralph Goodale, recognises within this plan the importance of cyber security. He points out to Canadians its three main goals;
1) Secure and resilient Canadian information technology systems in government and beyond.
2) A fertile cyber environment for Canadian science, innovation, talent and entrepreneurship.
3) A strong domestic collaboration across our country, leading to Canadian leadership shaping international development with respect to cybersecurity.
The budgets allocated by the Canadian Government to help support this strategy as of 2019 are already in excess of 1 billon dollars.
So how does cyber security affect the traffic industry?
With each access point added to a particular system, that systems integrity can become compromised without proper control measures in place. Access points can be found in essentially all public transportation devices. LRT’s, busses, trains, intersections, in some cases, even crosswalks utilise computer controlled data analysis and monitoring, and are therefore at some degree of risk. Choosing the right supplier, the right product, and the right contractor who are up-to date in the latest cybersecurity control measures can be the difference in mitigating potential liability situations. Can-Traffic Services recognises the importance of cyber security and has been adapting what we do as a company to ensure we do our part. As of today, Can-Traffic has completed the majority of the more technologically advanced projects here in Alberta. From the first autonomous bus system to the first connected vehicles system, Can-Traffic prides itself on being the contractor that is often chosen above others to complete these initiatives.