STAR-TRANS aspires to develop a holistic risk assessment methodology for Critical Infrastructure and apply it to a wide panel of international transportation infrastructures to analyse and assess common issues for risks, threats and vulnerabilities and identify possible interdependencies assessing the impact of failures on interconnected transportation infrastructures. The successful project outcome will offer important aids for decision-makers to determine priorities among multiple contingency alternatives by evaluating the consequences (cost, timing, resources, etc) of proposed actions. The improvement of the response and management capabilities regarding assessment of incidences / failures in critical transport infrastructures will be achieved through the identification and closure of relevant knowledge gaps and through the development, validation and usage of computational modelling tools.
STAR-TRANS aims at developing a modelling formalism in which specification of the structure and associated assets of European transportation networks as well as the specification of the dependency types between the assets of interconnected and interdependent transportation networks is facilitated. This modelling formalism will consider a transportation ‘network of networks’ as consisting of nodes and links. In so doing, tools from network and graph theory and the systems area will be employed. A specialised software system will be developed that will support the end users, and network operator's needs. The software tool will provide the technology to link together any relevant assets of interconnected and interdependent transport networks, such that risk managers, policy makers and others can, subsequently, be provided with the impact that a risk incident on an asset of a specific transportation network may have on the assets of other interconnected and interdependent transport networks.
Improving transportation security
Europe's transportation networks remain vulnerable to attack. An EU project helped to close gaps in this area and improve holistic Europe-wide transportation security.
Transportation networks and infrastructure in Europe have previously suffered security attacks, and they remain vulnerable. Furthermore, Europe's transportation is fully interconnected, meaning that security threats affecting one node potentially affect all.
Therefore, the 'Strategic risk assessment and contingency planning in interconnected transport networks' (STAR-TRANS) project aimed to develop a holistic transportation security risk assessment framework. The 11-member consortium ran from November 2009 to April 2012, during which it received EUR 2.1 million in EU funding. The project aimed to formalise the connection between risk incidents, transportation network assets and dependencies between assets. The purpose was to assess the impact of security incidents on the entire European network of transportation networks.
Project members set the following specific goals: to establish a common risk-assessment framework, to develop and validate formal risk-assessment language, and to propose a risk-propagation model. Other goals included designing and validating a modelling language and impact assessment tool (IAT), applying the IAT in Athens and Bologna, and disseminating the project's results.
To begin, the project reviewed existing vulnerability and risk assessments to identify the most relevant approaches to developing its own framework. The project also typed network assets in terms of security status, leading to identification of the weakest network links. Subsequently, the project developed its risk-assessment framework, which included application procedures and lists of threats, incidents and consequences. STAR-TRANS defined user requirements for the IAT, and created two modelling languages that express security impacts and assessment processes. The IAT was later designed and implemented as a pilot demonstrator. The demonstrations were performed in Athens and Bologna and then evaluated, as was the software.
The project also devised exploitation and marketing plans. Dissemination efforts focused on organisations likely to invest in the results. Media included the project website, brochures and fact sheets, which were presented at events, including conferences and workshops.
STAR-TRANS work will mainly allow assessment of security threats and impacts affecting Europe's transportation networks. This understanding will help close the security gaps and improve security overall.