Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced that their API Standard 1164, Pipeline Control Systems Cybersecurity, received Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designation and certification as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATTs). This category of technologies was established under the “Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act” (SAFETY) of 2002. The SAFETY Act was established in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The law itself “provides incentives for the development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies,” among other stipulations. The designation and certification of API Standard 1164 offers value to the companies that utilize the systems as part of their cyber security efforts.
The DHS’s designation of these cybersecurity systems is another reminder of pipelines’ state-of-the-art safety precautions. When compared to other modes of transporting potentially hazardous materials such as oil and gas, pipelines offer the safest, most efficient manner. Actions such as this designation and certification also reinforce pipelines’ superiority, as opposed to transporting materials by rail or truck. As we continue to develop these safety technologies, growing America’s pipeline network should be a priority, so that the nation does not need to rely on riskier alternatives.
Now, with the DHS’ certification, companies that rely on these specific systems to combat cyber terrorism will have additional protection, while those companies that do not, have more incentive to adopt the standard. In light of the growing potential for cyberattacks across the world, it is encouraging to see the Department of Homeland Security certifying the standard as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology.