Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee (STSAC) sets priorities and focus areas

National Press Release
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON - The Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee (STSAC) met Thursday, January 30, to establish its priorities for the upcoming year, which include improving cybersecurity information sharing, mitigating insider threat, and measuring security effectiveness in surface transportation. TSA Administrator David Pekoske addressed the committee with opening remarks to provide his insights and solicit recommendations about how this new advisory body can work most effectively to improve transportation security.

“The U.S. surface transportation system is a complex, interconnected network made up of mass transit systems, passenger and freight railroads, over-the-road bus operators, motor carrier operators, pipelines, and maritime facilities,” said Pekoske. “Since I began at TSA, I have stressed the need to improve security and safeguard our entire transportation system, and this committee’s work is critical to us achieving better security together.”

Thomas Farmer, the STSAC Chair, announced the formation of four subcommittees that align well with the Administrator’s priorities: Cybersecurity, Insider Threat, Security Risk and Intelligence, and Emergency Management and Resiliency.  On behalf of the Committee members, he also proposed immediate actions to support security enhancements, including establishment of an early notification network to facilitate timely sharing of actionable information on cyber threats, incidents, and security concerns, and implementation of effective practices to expand and enhance capabilities for sharing of classified intelligence with security officials in each of the surface modes of transportation. 

“The STSAC presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the public-private partnership in action to enhance security and mitigate risk across all surface modes,” said Farmer.

TSA established the STSAC in April, 2019 in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Modernization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254, 132 Stat. 3186, October 5, 2018).