(Reuters) – The Biden administration is working with pipeline companies to strengthen protection against cyber attacks following the Colonial Pipeline hack and will announce action in the coming days, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.
The Transportation Security Administration, a unit of DHS, "coordinates with companies in the pipeline sector to ensure that they take all necessary measures to increase their resilience to cyber threats and secure their systems," the agency said.
TSA is collaborating with another branch of DHS, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. DHS said they will release more information "in the coming days" without leaving any details.
The Washington Post reported that DHS is preparing to issue its first mandatory cyber security regulations on pipelines, citing senior officials.
In the past, the TSA has provided voluntary guidelines on cyber security for pipelines.
The TSA would require pipeline companies to report cyber incidents to the federal government, senior DHS officials told the newspaper.
Following a ransomware attack, Colonial was forced to shut down its entire network for 1
The closure of the 5,500-mile-long system was the most disruptive cyber attack on record, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the east coast from the bay.
The new rules were discussed after DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorka and other senior officials considered how they could use existing TSA powers to bring about change in the industry, the Post said.
Representative Bennie Thompson, chair of the Homeland Security House of Representatives, called the move "a major step in the right direction to ensure that pipeline operators take IT security seriously and report all incidents immediately."