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Security In Intelligent Transport Systems: Why India Should Prioritize ITS?
Intelligent transport systems (ITS) promise to enhance the lives of people by improving road safety, reducing traffic congestion, enhancing mobility of people and goods, and bettering the environment. Typical ITS consists of connected or autonomous vehicles, road side units, traffic flow sensors, payment kiosks or apps (for parking, e-tickets, etc.), traffic management hubs and traffic information systems that are all connected to each other. While investments in public and private transportation systems have grown reasonably well in the last decade, the investments in cybersecurity measures have not increased proportionately. With cybersecurity being grouped with the lowest of investment and resource allocation priorities, hackers and groups with questionable intent have found an avenue to exploit. The result – global and frequent attacks on smart transportation infrastructure. Vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, etc.) are fundamental units of transportation. They are also the targets for multi-pronged cyber-attacks by hackers. What makes these diverse modes of transit so attractive for hackers? Wide spread disruption, scope for ransom payment by authorities or affected people or simply the ease of attack. It is a well-known fact that in the developed world, some of the most critical infrastructure runs on outdated and degraded operating systems with plenty of unpatched vulnerabilities. Hackers and hacktivist groups have known this for a while now.
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