DHS orders 'critical' pipeline operators to comply with new cybersecurity measures

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The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday mandated owners and operators of critical pipelines to comply with new security measures.  

The new security directive requires critical pipeline owners and operators to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents. 

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They also must review their current practices and identify any gaps and related remediation measures to address cyber-related risks and report their findings within 30 days. 

"The recent ransomware attack on a major petroleum pipeline demonstrates that the cybersecurity of pipeline systems is critical to our homeland security," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. 

The new directive comes just over two weeks after the 5,500-mile-long Colonial Pipeline, which transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel per day, or almost half of the East Coast’s supply, was taken offline by hackers. 

The outage caused gasoline shortages along the East Coast that lasted about a week and resulted in prices spiking to $7 per gallon in some areas. The pipeline’s operator paid the group more than $4 million to get the pipeline back online. 

DHS did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment regarding what was considered to be a "critical pipeline." 

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President Biden on his first day in office signed an executive order that revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. His administration is also weighing the cancellation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and has failed to intervene in Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s attempt to shut down Line 5 of the Enbridge Pipeline. 

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