AGA’s Kimberly Denbow testifies before House Homeland Security Committee 

WASHINGTON – American Gas Association Vice President of Security and Operations Kimberly Denbow testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection on Thursday. Denbow emphasized the importance of cybersecurity insurance to combatting cyber threats to America’s critical natural gas delivery system. 

“AGA and its member companies are committed to investing in leading security technologies, utilizing best practices and training, and promoting an industrywide security culture of vigilance to help fortify our security defenses and enhance all aspects of safety,” said Denbow in her written testimony. “AGA member utilities combat the threat daily by leveraging a diverse cybersecurity management portfolio, including cybersecurity insurance. In the gas utility sector’s experience, the number of insurance providers willing to write cyber insurance policies has been limited. While capacity appears to be improving, the relatively unpredictable scale and cost of a successful cybersecurity compromise of critical operations unsurprisingly has limited the scope of coverage. These issues are indicative of an overall need for simpler, more streamlined cyber policy terms and the applications required to purchase such insurance.” 

In her testimony, Denbow encouraged the government to foster collaboration with owners/operators to seek cybersecurity solutions that are risk-based, outcome focused, and elevate security above compliance to achieve a commonly shared mission. Local distribution companies leverage cybersecurity insurance, skilled personnel, robust cybersecurity system protections, partnerships and collaboration with the federal government and other industries and associations, risk-based cybersecurity measures and participation in the Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG-ISAC) Community to combat the threat of increasingly sophisticated cyber actors. 

Natural gas is delivered to customers through a 2.7-million-mile underground pipeline system, including approximately 2.3 million miles of local utility distribution pipelines and 300,000 miles of transmission pipelines that stretch across the country. Each year, America’s natural gas utilities invest $33 billion in enhancing the safety of natural gas distribution and transmission systems, including through participation in AGA’s Peer Cyber Review Program and Physical Security Focus Groups and through the DNG-ISAC – the premiere cyber and physical threat sharing and analysis organization for the natural gas industry in the U.S. and Canada. 

This year, AGA will host the second Natural Gas Exercise (NGX), a nationwide tabletop drill focused on natural gas distribution and transmission cybersecurity, physical security and business continuity. Nearly 300 industry and government professionals representing 50 natural gas utilities, transmission companies and municipalities participated in the inaugural event in 2022. 

Learn more about AGA’s role in supporting cybersecurity for America’s natural gas industry here

Read Denbow’s full testimony to the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection here. A video recording of her testimony is available here