WASHINGTON — The American Gas Association (AGA) launched a new tool to help further enhance the security of natural gas utilities. The Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG ISAC) is a platform for sharing cyber and physical threat intelligence, incident information, analytics, and tools. Now fully operational, the DNG ISAC is designed to help local natural gas utilities throughout the nation share and access timely, accurate, and relevant threat information as part of their continued commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to the more than 177 million Americans who rely on it to meet their daily needs.

“Information sharing is a fundamental pillar of a robust cyber and physical defense effort,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, AGA. “The DNG ISAC is tailored to address the distinct operational needs of the downstream natural gas sector and provides the technological sophistication and coordination necessary to meet the ever-changing threats of the 21st century.”

Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), as described by the National Council of ISACs, are trusted entities established by critical infrastructure sectors to provide comprehensive analysis that may be shared within the sector, with other sectors, and with government. ISACs take an all-hazards approach to combating threats with services, including risk mitigation, incident response, alert systems, and information sharing. There are currently more than 12 ISACs covering a wide range of industry sectors, including the electric, nuclear, financial, telecommunications, information technology, and water industries. Combination gas and electric utilities, which already access the Electric Subsector (ES) ISAC for electric threat information, will eventually be able to access the DNG ISAC and vice-versa. This integration of the two ISACs will strengthen situational awareness of these two industries for the ultimate benefit of their shared customers.

Partnership between the private sector, federal, and state governments is the key to addressing cybersecurity threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure.

“AGA and our member companies continue to take a leading role in efforts to help ensure the security and resiliency of the natural gas delivery system, allowing customers and the nation to benefit from our abundance of clean, domestic natural gas for decades to come,” said McCurdy. “A natural gas utility’s ability to deploy the best cybersecurity defense for their system depends on an environment that fosters increased operator awareness of cyberattacks and intrusion activities, increased information sharing, flexibility to utilize appropriate cybersecurity platforms, and increased training. The DNG ISAC will play a key role in facilitating that environment.”

Publication date: 10/13/2014 

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