Thursday, September 28 2023

A new update from the Transportation Security Administration bolsters the security of essential pipeline companies. The revised directive aims to foster preparedness and fortify industry defenses against cyberattacks.

It instructs TSA-specified pipeline stakeholders to annually submit an updated cybersecurity assessment plan (CAP) not only for review, but for approval as well. Owners and operators must submit a CAP schedule for assessing and auditing specific cybersecurity measures. The schedule must ensure that at least 30% of TSA-relevant policies, procedures, measures, and capabilities are evaluated each year so that all are evaluated every three years. An annual report containing the results of the previous year’s assessments is mandated as well.

In addition, the new directive instructs owners and operators to test at least two of their cybersecurity incident response plan (CIRP) objectives annually and identify the employees involved in such exercises. Further, more language has been added informing owners and operators of pipelines that the TSA may notify them to include additional critical cyber systems not identified in the company’s cybersecurity implementation plan.

Published Wednesday in consultation with CISA and the Department of Transportation, it is the third in a series of pipeline security directives since the TSA first began issuing them in July 2021. The first directive came after a May 2021 ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which provides about 45% of the fuel used on the east coast. Perpetrated by a Russian ransomware gang, it led to a six-day shutdown of the pipeline, gas shortages, and emergency declarations in 17 states. In response, the U.S. Senate passed a law requiring operators of critical infrastructure and federal civilian agencies to report cyber incidents to CISA. Federal agencies like the TSA took note, too, introducing new cybersecurity requirements.

In a press release announcing the update, TSA administrator David Pekoske said, “Earlier versions [of the directive] required the development of processes and cybersecurity implementation plans. This version requires that operators test and evaluate those plans. We will continue to work with our partners in the transportation sector to increase cybersecurity resilience throughout the transportation system and acknowledge the significant work over the past year to protect critical infrastructure.”

Many of the measures found in the July 2021 directive and renewed in July 2022 will remain in place. Those include disclosing cyber incidents to CISA, identifying a cybersecurity point of contact, and conducting cybersecurity vulnerability assessments.  


SEC Augments Cybersecurity Regulations with New Disclosure Rules  


Brands in the Crosshairs: ZeroFox Unveils New Intelligence Report

Check Also


Don’t Miss

Cyber Executive Moves: Expel, AXA XL

Ellie Buscemi

Expel appoints a new chief product officer, AXA XL announces a new chief executive and DataVisor appoints a new chief revenue officer. Expel, a security operations provider in Herndon, Virginia, appointed Yonni Shelmerdine as the new chief product officer on Aug. 28. Shelmerdine comes to Expel from SentinelOne where he was the vice president of Product Management, endpoint […]

Grip Security Raising $41 Million Series B Led by Third Point Ventures


SaaS security company plans to accelerate growth and extend market leadership SaaS identity risk management platform Grip Security announced a $41 million Series B funding round led by Third Point Ventures, with participation from YL Ventures, Intel Capital and The Syndicate Group. The investment would bring Grip Security’s total funding to $66 million and marks a major milestone for the […]

Partner One Acquires Key Fidelis Cybersecurity Assets


Partner One, one of the fastest growing software conglomerates in the world, has announced its acquisition of Fidelis Cybersecurity software, intellectual property, equipment, inventory and customer and reseller contracts. Fidelis software is a leader in the cybersecurity industry, with innovative eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) and Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). Fidelis solutions protect […]

Healthcare IoT: Risks, Policy, and the Path Forward 

John Powers

When Amazon launched as an online bookstore twenty-eight years ago, few would have imagined that patients could one day go to its website to treat their acid reflux. But times change. Amazon just expanded their virtual healthcare marketplace, Amazon Clinic. Across the U.S., customers can now consult with clinicians through virtual calls and get treatment […]

NIST Updates Cybersecurity Framework in New Draft, Seeks Public Comment

John Powers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology updated their cybersecurity framework for the third time in a new draft. The new framework offers guidance to organizations about reducing cybersecurity risks. It contains a set of outcomes so that any organization can evaluate, prioritize, grasp, and communicate its cybersecurity measures in an effective way. The draft […]

N.Y. Gov. Debuts Premier State Cybersecurity Strategy

John Powers

Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) recently introduced New York’s first cybersecurity strategy. The 15-page document lays out a blueprint to expand services to aid under-resourced entities and clarifies agency responsibilities. It provides $500 million to strengthen New York’s healthcare information technology and $7.4 million to expand the New York State Police’s Cyber Analysis Unit, Computer Crimes […]