Bridging Two Silos: Pipeline Operators vs. Security Departments

American pipeline operators are at the forefront of efforts to safeguard domestic oil and gas infrastructure under the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) ever-evolving pipeline security initiatives. Utilities are being challenged to offer greater value and improve aging infrastructure management while ensuring uninterrupted and efficient service.

Defending against new threats and staying on top of constantly changing security guidance requires agility. Pipeline operators must adopt a continuous improvement ethos that supports infrastructure, efficiency and human capital.

Across a pipeline operation, multiple departments are often responsible for the health and maintenance of the systems involved. These may include groups such as information technology, cybersecurity, integrity management, risk management, ethics and compliance, and the executive team. Each is engaged and responsible for myriad daily tasks and has its own operational goals. Operators are having to consider threats they’ve never been asked to consider before, presenting new challenges between departments. Prioritizing security across departments and developing coordinated planning, safety and emergency management programs collaboratively is crucial to protecting pipeline operations.
If you had to pick the most common topics of conversation around the American dinner table today, it is likely that global conflict, rising costs and domestic energy supply are amongst them. Living at the intersection of these three topics lies utility companies tasked with building, operating and securing U.S. energy infrastructure while keeping customer bills in check — no small feat when you consider the headwinds they face.

Michael Bradley is director of utilities for Everline, a provider of energy compliance, technical and security solutions.

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