Cyber Security - Overview

NMFTA member motor carriers perform a vital service to our nation's economy by delivering the goods necessary to keep commerce flowing. NMFTA represents over 500 carriers who collectively operate close to 200,000 power units generating approximately $100 billion in freight revenue. To do so, they operate a diverse fleet of vehicles, including heavy vehicles.

Carrier vehicles tend to be homogenized on a fleet basis and are typically more connected than passenger automobiles. Heavy vehicles are designed and built with both OEM factory equipped as well as aftermarket telematics units. Using common communication interoperability standard SAE J1939, OEMs are able to offer vehicles in different configurations using parts such as brakes, transmissions and engines from 3rd parties which increase supply chain risk. Additionally, the extensive impact of transportation disruptions create particular concern regarding potential outages. These characteristics make the heavy vehicle cybersecurity risk profile substantially different then passenger automobiles.

As a key stake holder in heavy vehicle cyber security, NMFTA works to educate the transportation industry on potential cyber threats to connected vehicle fleets. NMFTA hosts industry workshops exploring cyber security issues such as incident response, risk mitigation, data anomaly detection, and many others. These forums are attended by representatives from motor carriers, academic experts, government agencies, heavy vehicle manufacturers, telematics providers, cyber security firms, and other industry groups or associations. Presentations on various topics of interest are included and the workshops provide a platform for attendees to engage in the material and deliberate possible solutions. One product of these meetings has been the heavy vehicle cybersecurity bulletin issued on September 9th, 2016. A copy of which can be found here.

NMFTA conducts and sponsors research into heavy vehicle cyber security directly and through student research programs with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the University of Tulsa. These research projects seek to develop benchmarks from which cyber security threats can be identified and mitigated as well as help develop the human resource talents needed to address this issue in the long term. NMFTA also partners with other entities including various government agencies and private sector companies to help educate and build awareness of heavy vehicle cyber security issues.

For additional information, please contact Urban Jonson, NMFTA's Chief Technology Officer at Urban.Jonson@nmfta.org.