Praetorian to research cybersecurity threats in ITS and CV systems


One of the USA’s leading providers of advanced cybersecurity services, Praetorian, will work with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to help state and local agencies address cyberattack risks on current transportation systems and those posed by future connected vehicles (CVs).

The company’s involvement is in support of a US$750,000 contract awarded to the SwRI from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), which is a unit of the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a non-profit organization that provides independent, objective and interdisciplinary solutions to improve transportation.

Praetorian and SwRI will work together on the two-year project that will develop guidance for state and local transportation agencies on: mitigating the risks from cyberattacks on the field-side of traffic management systems, including traffic signal systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), vehicle-to-infrastructure systems (V2I), and closed-circuit television systems (CCTV); and informing the agency’s response to an attack on its equipment, systems or network.

Praetorian’s team consists of industry-leading researchers with deep cybersecurity expertise, including engineers with prior experience at the NSA, the CIA, federal research laboratories, and across all major industry verticals. Key members of Praetorian’s bench bring decades of combined experience performing security assessments of embedded devices, proprietary communication protocols and complicated network environments.

With an increasing number of state and local transportation systems, and their individual equipment ‘nodes’, becoming connected to each other and the internet as a result of smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) programs, so they become more vulnerable to malicious interference and cyberattacks.

These threats to transportation infrastructure will also become applicable to the traffic using them, as vehicles become increasingly ‘connected’, and more automated. Guidance developed by the SwRI-Praetorian research project will seek to address the vulnerability of in-field devices, including: traffic signal controllers and cabinets, dynamic message signs (DMS), V2I roadside units (RSUs), weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems, road-weather information systems (RWIS), remote processing and sensing units, and other IP-addressable devices, field communications networks and field-to-center communications.

“Cybersecurity is critical for the next wave of innovation to reach its full market potential,” said Paul Jauregui, vice president of Praetorian. “We believe that today’s security will enable tomorrow’s technological progress across smart cities and connected vehicles by providing leaders with the assurance needed to accelerate innovation and move to scale with confidence.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).