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Challenges and approaches in securing safety-relevant railway signalling

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  • C. Schlehuber
  • M. Heinrich
  • T. Vateva-Gurova
  • S. Katzenbeisser
  • Neeraj Suri
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Abstract

The railway domain is a complex critical infras-tructure (CI) linking communication and control elements, and susceptible to multiple security threats similar to thoseencountered by industrial control systems. However, protectingmodern railway signalling systems is a challenging task giventhe rigorous human safety standards that must be adhered towhile augmenting the systems with security mechanisms. Asrailway CIs are subject to strong regulation and also cannot beadequately protected by physical security given that they aredistributed over large areas, the strong interplay of securityand safety requirements results in both unique problems andsolutions. In this paper, we describe the current state of railwaysignalling, the obstacles to consider when protecting signallingusing state of the art information security, and also outlinecontemporary approaches to address such obstacles. Overall, we propose a shell concept as an approach to decouple safetyand security. © 2017 IEEE.