• 4 minutes China's Economy and Subsequent Energy Demand To Decelerate Sharply Through 2024
  • 7 minutes Beijing Must Face Reality That Taiwan is Independent
  • 11 minutes Phase One trade deal, for China it is all about technology war
  • 14 minutes Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 1 hour We're freezing! Isn't it great? The carbon tax must be working!
  • 38 mins Boris Johnson taken decision about 5G Huawei ban by delay (fait accompli method)
  • 59 mins Trump has changed into a World Leader
  • 5 hours Which emissions are worse?: Cows vs. Keystone Pipeline
  • 15 hours What's the Endgame Here?
  • 10 hours Indonesia Stands Up to China. Will Japan Help?
  • 47 mins Prototype Haliade X 12MW turbine starts operating in Rotterdam
  • 6 hours Might be Time for NG Producers to Find New Career
  • 15 hours Turkey Muscles-In on Israel-Greece-Cyprus EastMed Gas Pipeline Deal. Erdogan Still Dreaming of Ottoman Empire II.
  • 22 hours Trump capitulated
  • 22 hours US Shale: Technology
  • 23 hours Gravity is a scam!
Alt Text

China Turns Its Back On Iran’s Crude Oil

Beijing is doing its best…

Alt Text

Oil Giant Sees Stock Soar 20% On Unexpected Oil Find

Two weeks after France’s supermajor…

Alt Text

Will Oil Prices Crash Or Rally When Iran Reacts?

Oil prices have soared following…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

A Shocking Amount Of Crucial U.S. Pipelines Still Lack Cybersecurity

U.S. pipeline infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyberattacks than desirable because of insufficient oversight in the cybersecurity department, a report commissioned by two members of Congress has suggested.

Reuters reported this week that the report, requested by Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Frank Pallone and conducted by the General Accountability Office, revealed the Transport Security Administration, a unit of Homeland Security, does not have a procedure in place that can be used to update cybersecurity standards for pipelines. These updates are necessary to reflect revisions in cybersecurity standards that are seen by experts in the field as essential.

Indeed, the cybersecurity field is a very dynamic one, with attackers unfortunately proving repeatedly they are not just keeping up with cybersecurity efforts but sometimes even being a step ahead of them. This is what necessitates updates to existing standards, and an update implementation procedure that makes for fast adoption of these updates.

Oil and gas pipelines are critical infrastructure and as such they are among the top targets of cybercriminals, according to experts. What the report by the GAO found was that the Transport Security Administration trusted pipeline operators to evaluate their networks and report whether they have critical facilities that could become a target for cybercriminals.

That’s not good enough to say the least: the TSA collected the self-evaluations in order to classify parts of operator’s networks as more or less vulnerable, but it turned out that as much as a 33 percent of the operators of the 100 biggest pipeline systems in the United States denied having critical facilities. What’s more, the Transport Security Administration did not verify the information supplied by pipeline operators.

“Protecting our pipelines, and the people who live and work near them, must be a top priority for our government and I hope this report will prompt the Trump administration to start treating this challenge with the urgency it deserves,” Senator Cantwell said in a release following the report. Related: Major LNG Shortage Increasingly Likely

Pipeline cybersecurity is certainly a top concern, especially with the growing automation and digitization of various functions that gives cybercriminals more potential entry points into a network. Work is being done but, if we are to believe the GAO report, not enough, which is the case for other industries as well in the opinion of most cybersecurity professionals.

Still, earlier this month, the Transport Security Administration released a Cybersecurity Roadmap that covered all transportation sectors, including pipelines. In a recent overview of the situation in Lexology, Norma M. Krayem noted that unlike other comparable industries, pipeline networks have so many agencies overseeing them, a debate about which of them should be in charge of cybersecurity has slowed down the actual implementation of cybersecurity measures.

The roadmap, Krayem said, was the document that put an end to the debate: the TSA is the agency in charge of the cybersecurity and physical security of pipeline systems, so that’s one thing that is settled. Now, what remains is the more important task: put actual cybersecurity standards and procedures in place to secure this part of the U.S. critical infrastructure.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage




Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News