AGA Launches Threat Information Sharing Center For Natural Gas Utilities
DNG ISAC Will Aid Critical Cyber and Physical Security Information Sharing
The American Gas Association (AGA) today launched a new tool to help further enhance the security of natural gas utilities. The Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG ISAC) is a platform for sharing cyber and physical threat intelligence, incident information, analytics and tools. Now fully operational, the DNG ISAC will help local natural gas utilities throughout the nation share and access timely, accurate and relevant threat information as part of their continued commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to the more than 177 million Americans who rely on it to meet their daily needs.
"Information-sharing is a fundamental pillar of a robust cyber and physical defense effort," said AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy. “The DNG ISAC is tailored to address the distinct operational needs of the downstream natural gas sector and provides the technological sophistication and coordination necessary to meet the ever-changing threats of the 21st century.”
Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), as described by the National Council of ISACs, are trusted entities established by critical infrastructure sectors to provide comprehensive analysis that may be shared within the sector, with other sectors and with government. ISACs take an all-hazards approach to combating threats with services including risk mitigation, incident response, alert systems and information sharing. There are currently more than one dozen ISACs covering a wide range of industry sectors, including the electric, nuclear, financial, telecommunications, information technology and water industries. Combination gas and electric utilities, which already access the Electric Subsector (ES) ISAC for electric threat information, will eventually also be able to access the DNG ISAC, and vice-versa. This integration of the two ISACs will strengthen situational awareness of these two industries for the ultimate benefit of their shared customers.
Partnership between the private sector and the federal and state governments is the key to addressing cybersecurity threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure. In addition to facilitating the sharing of best practices among its more than 200 member companies, AGA chairs the Cyber Security Working Group for the Oil & Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, an operators’ forum supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to promote effective security strategies and activities, policy and communication across the oil and natural gas sector to achieve the nation’s homeland security mission.
“AGA and our member companies continue to take a leading role in efforts to help ensure the security and resiliency of the natural gas delivery system – allowing customers and the nation to benefit from our abundance of clean, domestic natural gas for decades to come,” said McCurdy. “A natural gas utility’s ability to deploy the best cybersecurity defense for their system depends on an environment that fosters increased operator awareness of cyber-attacks and intrusion activities, increased information sharing, flexibility to utilize appropriate cybersecurity platforms and increased training. The DNG ISAC will play a key role in facilitating that environment.”
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.