Washington, D.C. – While the U.S. House and Senate hold hearings on cybersecurity, the American Gas Association (AGA) Cybersecurity Strategy Task Force (CSTF) met in Albuquerque, NM continuing its work to help minimize cyber vulnerabilities or potential cyber-related disruptions of the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to customers.
“America’s natural gas utilities are actively protecting the more than 2.4 million miles of pipelines that carry this clean energy source to homes and business throughout the United States,” said Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of AGA. “Natural gas is the foundation fuel for our nation’s energy future and that means maintaining constant vigilance against emerging threats. This is being addressed at every level within our member companies from information technology professionals to the CEOs who have received classified briefings from top intelligence and cybersecurity professionals within the U.S. Government. The safety of our natural gas infrastructure is our top priority.”
AGA and its membership have been involved in cybersecurity programs for more than ten years and are currently taking part in a number of cybersecurity initiatives. In addition to engaging in an open and collaborative process with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), AGA’s Cybersecurity Strategy Task Force has developed an action plan to help reduce the threat of a cybersecurity attack and a lay out a plan of action moving forward. The three-points included in the plan include: cyber risk management to evaluate how cyber-related threats could be exploited and to assess the industry’s capabilities to manage against these threats; increase cybersecurity education and awareness across the industry; and, advocacy through outreach to Legislative and Executive Branch stakeholders and state regulators.
McCurdy continued: “Ensuring the protection and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a shared responsibility among multiple stakeholders. The ongoing public-private partnerships between industry and government foster information exchange in a community of dedicated professionals aware of malicious tactics, threats and risks. Continued information sharing and collaboration with government partners are key tools in the industry’s work to combat cyber threats.”
AGA participates in public-private partnerships through working sessions and classified meetings with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, National Security Agency, Transportation Security Administration, White House National Security Staff and others to share information, work through threat scenarios and develop and implement strategies that help reduce and mitigate the impacts of a cyber attack.