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Alstom invests in railway cybersecurity specialist Cylus and signs strategic cooperation agreement

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9 December 2020 – Alstom has finalised a deal to invest US$7 million in Cylus, an Israel-based cybersecurity specialist, thus acquiring a minority stake in the company. The investment will give Alstom one seat on the board of Cylus. The deal also includes a strategic cooperation agreement to build a commercial partnership allowing the companies to combine their respective strengths and provide best-in-class cybersecurity solutions for the rail market.

Cylus, based in Tel Aviv (Israel) and founded in 2017, is specialised in cybersecurity solutions for the railway sector. Cylus has developed a portfolio of solutions and services, collectively named CylusOne, for the protection of railway assets against cyber threats.

Together, Alstom and Cylus will integrate cybersecurity technology into railway processes, components, and solutions. The technology will be implemented first in the Tel Aviv metropolitan light rail system with a capacity of 200,000 passengers a day. Alstom previously won a contract to supply the signalling and train control systems for the Tel Aviv Red Line tramway in 2017. 

With this agreement, the companies are joining forces to ensure that the rail industry is equipped to tackle cybersecurity challenges all over the world. The partnership will enhance existing rail systems’ cybersecurity capabilities and boost the ongoing development of cybersecurity solutions designed for mobility, to ensure a rapid and resilient response to operator demands.

“Alstom is reinforcing its position in cybersecurity by making sure that it is at the core of all our systems. The expansion of connectivity, the Internet of Things and Big Data require new measures to protect transport systems. In response to this challenge, we are sure that the partnership with Cylus will create new cybersecurity standards for the mobility sector,” says Eddy Thésée, Vice President of Cybersecurity at Alstom.

“The rail industry increasingly requires cybersecurity solutions for its particular needs. As a pure rail-cybersecurity company, we are proud to cooperate with Alstom, the world leader for innovative rail solutions, to help rail companies protect themselves against growing cyber threats. We are convinced that the partnership will drive the rail industry towards a cyber-safe future," says Amir Levintal, CEO of Cylus. 

CylusOne is the first cybersecurity solution designed from scratch for the unique diversity and complexity of rail and metro environments. It is designed to be integrated into both mainline and urban networks and is compatible with communication-based train control (CBTC), as well as the European Train Control System (ETCS) – in both cases maximizing performance, capacity and availability. The technology uses machine learning to speed up detection of malware and malicious behaviour. The system employs artificial intelligence to determine the behaviour once a threat is identified and effectively handle the response. CylusOne detects cyber threats over signalling and control networks, communications networks and trackside and onboard systems, facilitating a timely and effective response.