On May 27, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration announced a Security Directive designed to “better identify, protect against, and respond to threats to critical companies in the pipeline sector.”
The Security Directive comes in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown following a ransomware attack.
Highlights of the Security Directive
Critical pipeline owners and operators will be required to:
- Report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Designate a Cybersecurity Coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Review current practices and identify gaps and related remediation measures, and report the results to TSA within 30 days
TSA is also considering additional mandatory measures to assist the pipeline industry in enhancing it cybersecurity programs and practices.
Previous Security Guidance for Pipeline Owners and Operators
- CISA Alert “Ransomware Impacting Pipeline Operations”. Last year, in the wake of a ransomware attack on the OT systems of a natural gas compression facility, CISA warned operators of how hackers can move between IT and OT networks and disable assets on both networks. The CISA alert recommended that pipeline operators consider several actions to prevent or limit these risks.
- TSA Pipeline Security Guidelines. These guidelines, issued in March of 2018 and updated in April of 2021, provide a framework for a corporate security program, risk analysis, and specific facility and cyber asset security measures.
- NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. This framework is designed to enable organizations of all types to apply principles and best practices of risk management to improve security and resilience.
Our Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Management Team will continue to monitor the latest requirements and best practices recommendations for pipeline owners and operators, and provide insights on the efforts of critical infrastructure organizations to build resilience and improve their security programs.