The International Union of Railways (UIC), the worldwide railway association, is organising the 11th edition of CRITIS conference (Critical Information Infrastructures Security) from 10 to 12 October at Paris UIC HQ. The conference opened today bringing together more than 80 researchers and professionals from academia, industry and governmental organisations working in the field of the security of critical (information) infrastructure systems.
CRITIS is a global forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, results, experiences and concerns in selected perspectives of Critical Information Infrastructure Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection at large.
In line with the CRITIS tradition, this year’s edition brings together, over the course of two-and-a-half days, experts from governments, regulators, scientists, academics, service providers, and other stakeholders in one conference to secure infrastructures.
The 11th edition of CRITIS is particularly important due to the recent events and terrorist attacks. We all know that the level of threats is particularly high in our countries. So beyond the operational aspects on field we have to develop the sharing of experience, to put in place networks of experts, to pay attention to the research projects, to be as ready as possible for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, opened the conference reminding the audience that
the security of people and goods has become a common production of all the partners under the leadership of the State authorities. Railway companies have to integrate this constraint within their development policies, within their quality of service policies. The clients are permanently asking for a coherent policy on safety, security, impact of extreme climatic conditions or natural disasters… in order to avoid any disruption of service during their travel.
Within this framework the role of infrastructure managers is crucial and due to the cascade effects between the sectors, it’s important to develop the exchanges and sharing of experience between the various infrastructure managers: rail, road, water, electricity supply …and obviously first of all as far as the critical infrastructures are concerned.
Critical Infrastructures are those physical and information technology facilities, networks, services and assets which, if disrupted or destroyed, would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security or economic well-being of citizens or the effective functioning of governments in European Union (EU) countries.
It’s obvious that our responsibility is to fight against current attacks, but also to address the new threats. Cyber threats are more and more important. The upsurge of the digital world is of course creating opportunities of progress but also represents new difficulties and threats and also has to be taken into account in our common work.
Security organises preventive measures in order to avoid the occurrence of negative events (from daily delinquency to most sophisticated terrorism), measures of precaution for mitigating the consequences of these events if they happen, intervention and crisis management when they happened, is perceived as a priority by clients and staff. We have to join our efforts in order to develop the most relevant policies and after that organise training and communication.
In addition, an IMPROVER workshop will be organised at UIC as an associated event to CRITIS. The Workshop: “Meeting public expectations in response to crises” – aims to discuss how infrastructure operators meet these requirements today and how this can be improved. The programme will begin with a short introduction to the project and then detail the findings from the project with regard to public tolerance to service disruption. Then some scenarios will be presented before discussion with the operators about public expectations and crisis management.
Next week will follow the second UIC Security Week for developing the UIC additional security programme decided by the UIC General Assembly in December 2015 and which addresses:
- The interoperability of security related information for international trains
- The various aspects of training and communication
- The crisis management