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Transportation (DOT)

Department of Transportation Mission Statement – Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

DOT Strategic Goals and Missions

  • Strategic Sustainability Plan
  • High Speed Rail Programs
  • FAA (including Next Generation Air Traffic Control System)

Assessment

Security at the department is increasingly important to the nation. The next generation air traffic control system, for example, must be protected against all levels of threat and this will be a key driver.

Cyber/Information Technology Focus

  • Protecting FAA IT Systems
    • Work done by SRA International
    • Recent OIG investigation reported 3700 vulnerabilities in 70 applications
  • Protecting Hazardous Materials Safety Administration IT Systems
    • responsible for regulating the various pipelines of raw materials that travel across our country.

Recent Trends

CIO Nitin Pradhan provides IT vision, strategy, planning and oversight for the department. Some of his technology thrusts:

  • “New technology does not need to be really cutting edge,” said Pradhan at a July 20 industry event in McLean, Va., sponsored by research firm INPUT. There are enough great things to be done with the technology of the moment which we can go on,”
  • Part of Pradhan’s plan to improve business processes at DOT is to implement an agility platform, which will encourage a more incremental look at projects and an emphasis on tweaking versus overhaul, he said.”We know how to do the big projects. The question is do we know how to do the small projects?” asked Pradhan
  • For DOT, that means assessing where the agency is going as part of a strategy, not just the current state. Typically, a team is assembled to assess the current state of something before a plan can be made for improvement. But Pradhan said the current state of an agency’s IT is so massive, a current state report is often no longer relevant once it’s completed, one or two years down the line.
  • Looking for innovations in process and holistic solutions to its new challenges, such as cyber security. Pradhan says cyber security is a classic example of something that needs a holistic solution which is translatable to other issues within IT.

RFI from DOT for Car Hacking Prevention

DOT asks for “information that may be useful in identifying research needs and formulating a research roadmap to establish essential motor vehicle safeguards against cybersecurity threats and assure the reliability and safety of automotive electronic control systems.” There are complicated (and vulnerable) computerized pieces on every car — so much so that two hackers at DEFCON were able to hack and remote start a car with just a cellphone and a laptop. We now have vehicles that have internal WiFI, 3G/4G wireless connectivity and Bluetooth/USB connections — making them vulnerabilities on wheels. Vehicle safety and control is one place where we cannot skimp — and this DOT RFI should bring some strong capabilities to bear (or at least push this concern into the minds of strong thinkers).

DOT Moving the following services to the cloud

The DOT is moving the following services to the cloud under the cloud migration plan:

  • Geospatial Services
  • Application Development and Testing
  • Website Hosting and Content Management

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