Department of Homeland Security Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Pipelines

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a new Security Directive requiring companies in the pipeline sector “to better identify, protect against, and respond to” cyber threats. Among other things, the Security Directive requires pipeline operators to report cyberattacks against their pipelines to DHS. This new requirement replaces the voluntary reporting guidelines that had been in place since 2010.

The new Security Directive is a response to the May 2021 ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline that shut down much of the oil and gas distribution to the East Coast of the United States for approximately six days. According to various media reports, Colonial Pipeline ultimately elected to pay a Russian ransomware gang that claimed responsibility for the attack over four million dollars to re-open the crippled pipeline.

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OMB Releases Report on Federal Cybersecurity Risk

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This is the first post in a DBR on Data series on Executive Order 13800 and updates on its implementation a year after passage.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released in May 2018 its report to the president on federal cybersecurity risk determination. The report, which responds to the President’s May 2017 Executive Order 13800, entitled “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” comes as several key reports also required by Executive Order 13800 have been recently released in full or in summary form. The Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan concludes that the recent government-wide cybersecurity risk assessment conducted by the OMB, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), confirms the need for the U.S. government to take “bold approaches” to improve federal cybersecurity.

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