FERC Regulators Say Oversight for Pipeline Cybersecurity Needs Improvement

Two top regulators of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission say the current agency in charge of overseeing cybersecurity for U.S. pipelines is unfit for the job and should pass the role to FERC.

Two commissioners wrote in an online article that the Transportation Security Administration cannot keep the U.S. pipeline network secure. They added that the TSA only has six full-time employees securing more than 2.7 million miles of pipeline and depends on voluntary cybersecurity standards.

The role should be given to FERC, which has a comprehensive understanding of the energy industry as well as sufficient resources to address any security threats, said the commissioners.

The article comes a few months after multiple cyber attacks forced the shutdown of several pipeline companies' third-party electronic communications systems.

None of the cyber attacks interrupted the supply of gas to homes and businesses, but it drew attention to the rising need for robust cybersecurity surrounding the country's pipeline systems.