[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 183 (Friday, September 24, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 52953]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20738]

[[Page 52953]]



6 CFR Chapter I

49 CFR Chapter XII

[DHS Docket No. DHS-2021-0039]

Ratification of Security Directive

AGENCY: Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS).

ACTION: Notification of ratification of directive.


SUMMARY: DHS is publishing official notice that the Transportation 
Security Oversight Board (TSOB) has ratified Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) Security Directive Pipeline-2021-02, which is 
applicable to certain owners and operators of critical pipeline systems 
and facilities (Owner/Operators) and requires implementation of an 
array of cybersecurity measures to prevent disruption and degradation 
to their infrastructure.

DATES: The ratification was executed on August 17, 2021, and took 
effect on that date.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas McDermott, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary, Cyber Policy, Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans at 202-
834-5803 or [email protected].


I. Background

A. Ransomware Attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company and TSA Security 
Directive Pipeline-2021-01

    On May 8, 2021, the Colonial Pipeline Company announced that it had 
halted its pipeline operations due to a ransomware attack. This attack 
temporarily disrupted critical supplies of gasoline and other refined 
petroleum products throughout the East Coast and demonstrated the 
significant threat such attacks pose to the country's infrastructure 
and economic well-being. In response, TSA issued Security Directive 
Pipeline-2021-01 on May 26, 2021, which required Owner/Operators to: 
(1) Report cybersecurity incidents to the Cybersecurity and 
Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within 12 hours; (2) appoint a 
cybersecurity coordinator to be available 24/7 to coordinate with TSA 
and CISA; and (3) conduct a self-assessment of cybersecurity practices, 
identify any gaps, and develop a plan and timeline for remediation.\1\ 
As ratified by the TSOB on July 3, 2021, this first security directive 
became effective on May 28, 2021, and is set to expire on May 28, 

    \1\ See DHS Press Release, DHS Announces New Cybersecurity 
Requirements for Critical Pipeline Owners and Operators (May 27, 
2021), available at: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/05/27/dhs-announces-new-cybersecurity-requirements-critical-pipeline-owners-and-operators (accessed Aug. 27, 2021).
    \2\ See 86 FR 38209 (July 20, 2021).

B. TSA Security Directive Pipeline-2021-02

    Due to a continuing active threat to pipeline cybersecurity, TSA 
issued Security Directive Pipeline-2021-02 on July 19, 2021, which 
requires Owner/Operators to implement additional and immediately needed 
cybersecurity measures to prevent disruption and degradation to their 
infrastructure in response to an ongoing threat. Specifically, Security 
Directive Pipeline-2021-02 requires Owner/Operators to take the 
following additional actions:
     Implement specified mitigation measures to reduce the risk 
of compromise from a cyberattack, drawing on guidelines published by 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and 
recommendations from CISA as reflected in a series of recent alerts; 

    \3\ See, e.g., Joint Cybersecurity Advisory--Alert (AA21-131A), 
Darkside Ransomware: Best Practices for Preventing Disruption from 
Ransomware Attacks, released by CISA and the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) on May 11, 2021 (as revised); and Alert (AA21-
201A), Chinese Gas Pipeline Intrusion Campaign, 2011 to 2013), 
released by CISA and the FBI on July 20, 2021 (as revised).

     Develop a Cybersecurity Contingency/Response Plan to 
reduce the risk of operational disruption or functional degradation of 
information technology and operational technology systems in the event 
of a malicious cyber intrusion; and
     Test the effectiveness their cybersecurity practices 
through an annual cybersecurity architecture design review conducted by 
a third party.
    TSA issued this Security Directive pursuant to its authority under 
49 U.S.C. 114(l)(2), which authorizes TSA to issue emergency security 
directives without providing notice or an opportunity for public 
comment when the TSA Administrator ``determines that a . . . security 
directive must be issued immediately in order to protect transportation 
security . . . ''. Each of the measures have been carefully evaluated 
and determined critical to protect this critical sector in light of the 
current threat. The directive became effective on July 26, 2021, and 
expires on July 26, 2022.

II. TSOB Ratification

    TSA has broad statutory responsibility and authority to safeguard 
the nation's transportation system, including pipelines.\4\ The TSOB--a 
body consisting of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of 
Transportation, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the 
Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of National Intelligence, or 
their designees, and a representative of the National Security 
Council--reviews certain regulations and security directives consistent 
with law.\5\ Security directives issued pursuant to the procedures in 
49 U.S.C. 114(l)(2) ``shall remain effective for a period not to exceed 
90 days unless ratified or disapproved by the Board or rescinded by the 
Administrator.'' \6\

    \4\ See, e.g., 49 U.S.C. 114(d), (f), (l), (m).
    \5\ See, e.g., 49 U.S.C. 115; 49 U.S.C. 114(l)(2).
    \6\ 49 U.S.C. 114(l)(2)(B).

    On August 4, 2021, the chairman of the TSOB convened an in-person a 
meeting of the Board for the purpose of reviewing the security 
directive. At the meeting, the TSOB discussed the threat to the 
cybersecurity of the pipeline industry, the actions required by 
Security Directive Pipeline-2021-02, and the need for TSA to issue the 
security directive pursuant to its emergency authority under 49 U.S.C. 
114(l)(2) to prevent the disruption and degradation of the country's 
critical pipeline infrastructure. There was unanimous consensus that 
the Security Directive should be in place. Following this review, on 
August 17, 2021, the TSOB ratified Security Directive-2021-02 in its 

John K. Tien,
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security & Chairman of the Transportation 
Security Oversight Board.
[FR Doc. 2021-20738 Filed 9-23-21; 8:45 am]