T3 Webinar Overview

Who's Minding Your Data? An Introduction to Cyber Security Issues for Transportation

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Introduction to Cyber Security Issues for Transportation

Date:   December 7, 2011
Time:  2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (US DOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


Transportation systems are becoming increasingly complex and integrated systems, ones that incorporate numerous intricate control systems and sub-systems that work in tandem. The deepened use of communications and information technology has increased the efficiency and functionality of transportation systems. With this expanded functionality, however, comes a corresponding increase in potential vulnerabilities to transportation technologies. To ensure the safety of the traveling public, transportation agencies will need to learn about cyber security issues and how to develop and implement solid cyber security programs. This T3 Webinar will introduce the issues and concerns related to today's connected transportation environment and lay out best practices to help mitigate some of the potential vulnerabilities. The webinar will be hosted by Michael Dinning of the US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.

This webinar is planned to be the first in a series of webinars aimed at addressing the growing tide of cyber security issues related to the transportation sector. Future sessions will focus on particular transportation modes, case studies, and insight for what is being done in those sectors to remediate issues now, and in the future.

Target Audience

Transportation stakeholders interested in learning about the vulnerabilities, risks, and issues related to cyber security on transportation systems.

Learning Objectives

  • Enhance participants' knowledge of transportation cyber security issues
  • Highlight open issues to be addressed in the design, integration, maintenance, and operations of cyber secure transportation systems
  • Discuss innovative approaches and remediation strategies to avoid or mitigate cyber security threats.
  • Inform webinar participants of upcoming industry workshops and meetings to gain more knowledge, including:
    • Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting – January 22-26, 2012 in Washington, DC
    • American Public Transportation Association TransITech Conference – March/April 2012 (Dates TBD) in Ft. Worth, TX


  • Overview of Transportation Cyber Security Issues - Mike Dinning, US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
  • Overview of Cyber Security Risk in Ground Transportation - Ed Fok, FHWA Resource Center
  • Best Practices for Transportation Cyber Security - Tim Weisenberger & John Smith, US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


Michael Dinning, US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

photograph of Michael Dinning

Michael Dinning is Director of Transportation Logistics & Security at the Volpe Center. The Volpe Center is the national research center of the U.S. Department of Transportation, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Dinning has extensive experience managing programs to evaluate, demonstrate, and deploy innovations in transportation, security, and logistics management systems. Mr. Dinning represents the Volpe Center before a wide variety of transportation and technology industry organizations involved in innovations in transportation security, electronic payment systems, and logistics. He is chairman of the Transportation Cyber Security Subcommittee of the Transportation Research Board. Mr. Dinning is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council, and is coauthor of the book, Smart Cards: Seizing Strategic Business Opportunities. Mr. Dinning teaches a graduate course in Transportation Security Management for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


Ed Fok, FHWA Resource Center

photograph of Ed Fok

Edward Fok is a Transportation Technology Specialist with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Technical Service/Resource Center. His current role is to support agencies around the country in deploying state of the art systems and processes while helping researchers to advance the state of the art. Ed came to FHWA with 11 years of experience from City of Los Angeles Dept of Transportation. His experience includes: arterial operations, urban transportation management, integrated corridor operations, application and development of adaptive control systems, development of advanced field devices, and development of online applications. Mr. Fok has B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. He is licensed in electrical engineering, traffic engineering, and professional traffic operations engineering.

Tim Weisenberger, US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

photograph of Tim Weisenberger

Tim Weisenberger is a project manager and analyst for the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA. He has worked with various North American transit agencies, US government entities, and state departments of transportation on projects that examine feasibility and application of contactless technologies as well as examination of cyber security of transportation systems and vehicles.

Tim leads ongoing transportation cyber security research work in support of both National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Homeland Security Control Systems Security Program (DHS CSSP). The focus of the work in support of NHTSA is to examine and augment the electronic resiliency of modern automobiles (in particular of safety critical systems). Work in support of DHS CSSP focuses on the cyber security posture of traffic management systems.

Prior to joining the John A.Volpe Center, Tim was a Business Development Manager at Motorola, Inc. Worldwide Smartcard Solutions Division where he drove acceptance of contactless smart cards in mass transit. Tim has over 30 years of profession experience including special projects manager at the Chicago Transit Authority and as an officer in the United States Navy. He holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

John C. Smith, US DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

photograph of John C. Smith

John Smith is a senior project manager for the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA since 2002. His expertise in product and program development, and business process reengineering has been hallmarks of his career in both the private and federal sectors. He has worked with US government transportation related agencies that seek to improve their general efficiencies and functional capacities via new technologies and new business methodologies. His ability to serve as an effective organizational change agent has earned him a successful reputation with the organizations he has teamed with and helped mentor.

In previous roles, John initiated and created several professional service programs dedicated to high levels of reliable performance for industries such as banking and the DOD that demand .9999% availability and very tight security. This background has evolved over the years to a focus on cyber security, and its impacts on information technology and other related technologies. John is a contributing member of the SAE International's Vehicle Electrical System Security Committee—a consortium of professionals from private sector, government, and academia focused on creating new standards and best practices for vehicle related cyber security.

Prior to joining the John A. Volpe Center, John held senior management positions at several locally based global companies including: Digital Equipment Corporation, Bay Networks/Nortel, and EMC. John has over 20 years of operational and program management experience in software development, hardware and services marketing, and business development. He holds MS and BS degrees from Boston University.