The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today issued a second Security Directive aimed at securing critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas from cyber intrusions, in response to recent cybersecurity threats against U.S. pipeline systems.

The Security Directive requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines to implement urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions, including ransomware attacks. In addition, it aims to develop and implement a cybersecurity contingency and recovery plan, and conduct a cybersecurity architecture design review.

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“Through this Security Directive, DHS can better ensure the pipeline sector takes the steps necessary to safeguard their operations from rising cyber threats, and better protect our national and economic security,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “Public-private partnerships are critical to the security of every community across our country and DHS will continue working closely with our private sector partners to support their operations and increase their cybersecurity resilience.”

This new Security Directive follows an initial directive that was issued in May 2021, following the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Co.

The first directive requires pipeline owners and operators to “report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency]; designate a Cybersecurity Coordinator to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; review current practices; and identify any gaps and related remediation measures to address cyber-related risks and report the results to TSA and CISA within 30 days.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.