Natural gas industry cites redundancies and failsafes as safeguards against cybersecurity threats
In response to ongoing concerns over the nation’s ability to safeguard its energy grid from cyberattacks, the natural gas industry has released a comprehensive whitepaper discussing the natural gas system’s unique reliability and resilience against external threats.
The Natural Gas Council’s study (available HERE) cites to the decentralized and redundant nature of the nation’s natural gas network in support of its conclusion that “[t]he natural gas industry is not susceptible to wide-spread failure from a single point of disruption in the same manner as the electric system.” The report describes the ease of controlling the flow of natural gas through pipelines, diversity of supply areas throughout the United States and Canada, and parallel operational streams. In addition to the expected physical security measures, natural gas operations benefit from substantial cybersecurity countermeasures, including a sophisticated threat assessment and information-sharing system.
Still, natural gas industry groups have increased collaborative efforts with the Department of Energy to further bolster the security of the world’s leading natural gas industry. These efforts were in part sparked by Secretary Rick Perry’s June 2017 testimony before the House Energy and Water Development Appopriations Subcommittee, where Secretary Perry emphasized the need to protect the nation’s electric grid – even in spite of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts.