- The Department of Homeland Security will require pipeline companies to report cyberattacks.
- More mandatory rules will be announced soon – the agency has only offered voluntary guidance in the past.
- The Pirate Colonial Pipeline highlighted the country’s need to safeguard its defense from cyber threats.
- See more stories on the Insider activity page.
U.S. officials will introduce the first cybersecurity regulations for the country’s pipeline after hackers attacked the country’s largest oil company in the first month, causing a massive disruption, the The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Unnamed officials from the Department of Homeland Security have said in the letter that the agency, through its subsidiary of the Transportation Security Administration, will issue a new directive this week that requires pipeline companies to report cybercrime incidents to officials. The new rules may also require companies to appoint a cyber officer to contact the federal authorities 24 hours a day.
More regulations will be announced in the coming weeks for companies in an effort to ensure the safety of the industry’s online infrastructure, the report says.
As the Post notes, DHS has historically published only a voluntary guide on cybersecurity, but these new rules will be mandatory. Other sectors involving things like health care and water processes have not generally implemented the required cyber guidelines.
DHS did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
An agency spokesman told the Post that “TSA, in close cooperation with [the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,] coordinates with pipeline industry companies to ensure they take all necessary measures to increase their resilience to cyber threats and secure their systems. “
Colonial Pipeline, which operates the largest oil pipelines in the country, was hit with a
cyberattack in mid-May, and the company was forced to stop its operations temporarily. The 11-day arrest has led to supply problems in the southeast, as people took to buying panic and collecting gas. The hacker also reopened talks on how to safeguard the country’s energy infrastructure.
Colonial’s CEO said the company paid a $ 4.4 million ransom to foreign cyber hackers on May 7 to relinquish control of the systems. The FBI dissuades companies from bowing to ransom demands, but many still do.