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DHS Directs Natural Gas & Oil Pipelines to Enhance Cybersecurity

The U.S has directed to enhance the Cybersecurity of the Natural Gas & Oil Pipelines following the colonial attack. The direction by the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was issued on Thursday, 27th May to the natural gas and oil pipeline owners and operators.

The issuance was done in response to the ransomware attack that was done by the hackers on the Colonial Pipeline Co. in the previous month. The U.S DHS has been directed to report the potential attacks and confirmed cybersecurity to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).The department, in its response, has also directed to designate a cybersecurity coordinator that would be available 24 hours a day and all days of the week. In response to the attack and the direction, Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of DHS, said the landscape of cybersecurity is continuously evolving. He emphasized the necessity for the adoption to address the new and emerging threats is necessary.

DHS Directs Natural Gas & Oil Pipelines to Enhance CybersecurityThe Colonial Pipeline Co. is the largest refined products pipeline of the U.S. The secretary said that the cybersecurity of pipeline systems is critical to the security of their nations as well. The DHS secretary has promised to work with their private-sector partners. It has promised to support its operations and enhance the resilience of the critical infrastructure of the nation. The directive also requires the owners of the pipeline operators to review their current practices and identify if any gaps exist in the infrastructure. It has directed to take related remediation measures to effectively respond to the cyber-related risks. The operators and owners are ordered to report the results to the DHS within 30 days.

After the attack that happened to the Colonial, the 5,500-mile system was shut down many days. The shutdown resulted in shortages of fuels and created panic in buyers within the region. The Colonial reportedly transports over 100 million gallons of gasoline and other fuels like diesel and jet fuel. The fuels are transported by its pipeline system to all the markets throughout the southern and eastern United States.

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