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    Steps taken to protect US energy from cyberthreats

Summary

Cybersecurity came into sharper focus following a ransomware attack on a major US fuels pipeline.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Steps taken to protect US energy from cyberthreats

Cybersecurity company Dragos said September 16 it had teamed with an oil and gas information services centre to bolster cybersecurity for the North American energy sector.

Dragos said it would work on a joint initiative with the Oil and Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ONG-ISAC) “to strengthen security and community-wide visibility for industrial cybersecurity.”

The centre will use the Neighbourhood Keeper information-sharing platform to provide greater visibility for cyberthreats facing the oil and natural gas sector. ONG-ISAC already works to facilitate protection of upstream and refining parts of the energy sector from cyber threats.

Dragos established a similar relationship in August with the Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG-ISAC) to provide greater insight into potential cybersecurity threats to the control systems at various segments of the natural gas sector.

The Neighbourhood Keeper program was developed with support from the US Department of Energy.

The US Department of Homeland Security issued mandates in July for pipeline owners and operators on cybersecurity. Through a new directive, they were called on to take specific mitigation measures against cybersecurity threats, develop recovery plans and perform regular cybersecurity reviews.

The measure was in large part a response to a ransomware attack in May on the Colonial fuels pipeline, which meets about half of the demand for refined products on the eastern US seaboard.