RIT and Alstom Signaling collaborate to advance transport cybersecurity

The Rochester Institute of Technology and Alstom are partnering to advance cybersecurity education, development and research in the transportation industry.

Through a new collaboration, the French mobility technology company will provide RIT students with educational, research and career opportunities. Alstom has also been named thematic sponsor of the upcoming RIT Global Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) in 2023-2024.

“We look forward to working with our friends at RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute for this opportunity to bring well-trained cybersecurity experts to Alstom,” said Nadia Zaari, General Manager, Signaling and Infrastructure Systems, North America. “This collaborative effort also strengthens Alstom’s offerings to help our customers meet the requirements of the Transportation Security Administration’s cybersecurity guidelines for the rail industry.”

CPTC lets college students around the world compete in an ethical hacking battle. The competition helps students acquire and hone the skills necessary for a job as a penetration tester in the cybersecurity industry, an industry that is in dire need of qualified professionals.

CPTC has become the first offense-based collegiate computer security event, having started at RIT eight years ago. CPTC is a counterpart to the Collegiate Cyber ​​Defense Competition (CCDC), which is the premier defense-focused event for students.

While previous competition scenarios have focused on grid energy, hospitality, and finance, next year’s theme will focus on signal transportation and cybersecurity. Alstom experts will participate in the modeling and development of the competitive environment.

“By focusing competition around transportation and signaling cyberinfrastructure, we’re helping prepare elite students for promising careers, ensuring we can move the food, water and supplies that enable the modern civilization,” said Justin Pelletier, Director of CPTC and Director of RIT’s Cyber ​​Range and ESL GCI Training Center. “We are deeply grateful for Alstom’s partnership as we will be able to build realistic models and simulations that draw on their leadership in this critical infrastructure sector.

Students in RIT’s Computer Security undergraduate program will also have the opportunity to work with Alstom engineers and experts who will teach about the signal security industry. Alstom also plans to sponsor and participate in Capstone student projects.

“Alstom is a global leader in the rail transport market,” said Ersin Uzun, Katherine Johnson, Executive Director of RIT’s ESL GCI. “This partnership will allow RIT students to explore opportunities in an important critical infrastructure sector. Collaborations between Alstom engineers and ESL GCI researchers will help improve the safety of the transport infrastructure we all rely on every day.

Going forward, Alstom also plans to sponsor a postgraduate research fellowship related to transport cybersecurity and engage in in-house training through RIT.

The ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute was established in 2020 – housed in the university’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences – with the goal of making RIT one of the best places in the world for education, training and cybersecurity research. ESL GCI experts provide industry training opportunities that generate the real-world feel of responding to a cybersecurity crisis. The training is offered through the institute’s Cyber ​​Range and Training Center, a virtual and physical lab that allows people to simulate network cyberattacks and problem-solving scenarios. Competition environments for the CPTC are also managed by the Cyber ​​Range.

Alstom maintains close ties with the Greater Rochester region. Alstom has an office located in Henrietta, NY, and its flagship rolling stock manufacturing plant is located in Hornell, NY

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