Homeland Security issues first cybersecurity regulations for pipelines, following Colonial hack

The move comes weeks after a cyberattack on Colonial Pipelines left the East Coast with gas shortages.
Colonial Pipeline fuel tank.
Colonial pipelin, Washington D.C. May 13, 2021.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security plans to regulate cybersecurity in the pipeline industry following the Colonial Pipeline hack that heavily disrupted the East Coast's fuel supply earlier this month.

"The Biden administration is taking further action to better secure our nation’s critical infrastructure," agency spokeswoman Sarah Peck said Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

The Transportation Security Administration, which is part of Homeland Security, will issue a security directive this week that would require pipeline companies to report cyber incidents to federal authorities. The TSA will reportedly follow up the directive in the coming weeks with a more robust set of rules for companies to follow.

The new regulations, the first of their kind, will also require companies to have a cyber official who will have a direct line to TSA to report an attack and monitor and fix gaps in current security systems.

Peck said the DHS "is coordinating with companies in the pipeline sector to ensure they are taking all necessary steps to increase their resilience to cyber threats and secure their systems."