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Strengthening cyber security in the oil and gas industry

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has expressed its support for the new Oil and Natural Gas Information and Sharing and Analysis Center (ONG-ISAC), which will help to protect infrastructure from cyber attacks.

API helped to form the center, but will remain a separate entity in order to facilitate the exchange of information, help to evaluate risks, and provide up to date security guidance to US companies.

The ONG-ISAC will be structured in a similar way to other industry ISACs in order to:

  • Allow participants to submit incidents either anonymously or with attribution via a secure web portal.
  • Circulate information on threats and vulnerabilities among ONG-ISAC members, other ISACS, vendors, and the US government.
  • Provide industry participants with access to cyber security experts.
  • Alert participants of cyber threats deemed ‘urgent’ or ‘elevated’ in near real time.
  • Coordinate industry wide responses to computer based attacks.

The Analysis Center will be headquartered in Houston, and will act as a central hub for the rapid collection and distribution of intelligence on cyber threats against US energy networks.

API Vice President Kyle Isakower commented: “Computer based attacks are one of the fastest growing threats to American businesses and infrastructure. The center builds on existing programs to help companies quickly identify and respond to threats against energy production and distribution systems such as refineries and pipelines and stay connected with law enforcement agencies”.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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