US has new cyber security rules for pipelines

DHS now requires “urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions”

The federal government has launched new regulations requiring owners of critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to implement “urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions.”

This was the second time since May that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a cyber security directive aimed at US pipeline operators. It comes in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack that disrupted fuel supplies across the southeastern US for days.

DHS said Tuesday’s move was in response to “the ongoing cybersecurity threat to pipeline systems,” Reuters reported.

“The lives and livelihoods of the American people depend on our collective ability to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from evolving threats,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

The security directive requires critical pipelines to take defensive measures to protect themselves from ransomware attacks and other known threats to IT systems. Pipeline owners must also have a cyber security contingency and recovery plan in place.

In an earlier security directive in late May, immediately following the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack, the DHS began requiring US pipeline operators to conduct a cyber security assessment. Until then, American pipeline companies operated under purely voluntary cyber security guidelines.

Related Resource

Aberdeen Report: How a platform approach to security monitoring initiatives adds value

Integration, orchestration, analytics, automation, and the need for speed

White text against a pink-red background - whitepaper from IBMFree download

That late-May directive required pipeline owners and operators to report any cyber incidents to the federal government. They also needed a designated cyber security coordinator available 24/7 to work with authorities in an attack.

When DarkSide hackers attacked Colonial Pipeline, they forced it to shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline between Texas and New York for several days, disrupting the fuel supply to large swaths of the East Coast. The hackers also took 100GB of data from the network before locking computers and extorting the company for a ransom payment. 

Colonial’s CEO has confirmed the pipeline company paid $4.4 million to cyber criminals who hit it with the ransomware attack.

Featured Resources

2021 Thales access management index: Global edition

The challenges of trusted access in a cloud-first world

Free download

Transforming higher education for the digital era

The future is yours

Free download

Building a cloud-native, hybrid-multi cloud infrastructure

Get ready for hybrid-multi cloud databases, AI, and machine learning workloads

Free download

The next biggest shopping destination is the cloud

Know why retail businesses must move to the cloud

Free Download

Recommended

Marsh McLennan reveals its cyber risk analytics center
risk management

Marsh McLennan reveals its cyber risk analytics center

15 Oct 2021
30 countries announce crackdown on ransomware payments
ransomware

30 countries announce crackdown on ransomware payments

15 Oct 2021
£100 contactless payment limit could place shoppers at risk, warn industry experts
Policy & legislation

£100 contactless payment limit could place shoppers at risk, warn industry experts

15 Oct 2021
Hackers used MSHTML exploit a week before patches were ready
zero-day exploit

Hackers used MSHTML exploit a week before patches were ready

14 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Supply chain breaches impacted 97% of firms in the past year
supply chain management (SCM)

Supply chain breaches impacted 97% of firms in the past year

12 Oct 2021