More introductions to the people behind Digirail! Our guest is cybersecurity expert Antti Alestalo.

What is your job, and what is your role in the Digirail project?

I am a cybersecurity expert. My team is working on cybersecurity design for the Digirail project. This covers a wide range of areas, beginning with specification definitions for component systems and ranging up to data protection testing planning and providing cybersecurity support for various other groups in the project. We also work a lot with partners such as the owners and operators of rolling stock, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and Traficom. Later, when construction of the first section of rail line begins, our work will focus on working with the supplier and on the system to be built. The wireless communications design devised by our team with the Digirail telecommunications team is also a major component in the project.

How long have you been working on the project? How did you end up with Digirail?

I have been here from the beginning of the development and verification phase, so for about two and a half years. I originally came to Digirail as the result of another project, where I evaluated the cybersecurity of the new safety system on the main line between Riihimäki and Tampere. My current partner, Welado, got in touch after that and asked me whether I would like to work on Digirail through them.

What do you find most interesting about the project?

Having to learn new things. Though I am an experienced cybersecurity expert, I have had to learn a lot that I did not know about railways and the ECTS (European Train Control System). Then I needed to figure out how to plug my 15 years of cybersecurity experience into this particular framework.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My leisure activities include running, badminton, climbing, cycling, computer games and diving. Out of these I would say I prefer diving, but unfortunately you have to travel a long way away to find warm waters.