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Oil & Natural Gas Industry Forms ISAC

New ONG-ISAC joins existing Information Sharing and Analysis Centers for electricity, water, and other critical infrastructure sectors.

Yet another vertical industry is banding together with an attack and threat intelligence-sharing mechanism: The oil and gas industry launched its own Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) today.

The Oil and Natural Gas ISAC (OSN-ISAC) comes on the heels of the retail industry's new ISAC announced last month by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and another intel-sharing platform to be offered by the National Retail Federation.

ISACs provide an official mechanism for sharing information about the latest malware and cybercrime activity spotted targeting specific industries and others. They also include databases of those threats and vulnerabilities for their members. There are some 16 ISACs to date for specific industries, including the financial industry's FS-ISAC, as well as ISACs in the electricity, water, supply chain, and research and education sectors. The goal is to help the industries better team up in the face of cybercrime and cyber espionage.

Microsoft earlier this week unveiled its own attack-sharing platform, Interflow, for Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) partners and incident responders. Interflow is based on Microsoft's Azure cloud service and automates the exchange of threat intelligence and attack information.

The energy industry has been in the bull's eye of attackers. Last year, the US Department of Homeland Security's ICS-CERT said it worked on 256 security events in critical infrastructure environments, 60% of which were in the energy sector.

"Cyber-based attacks are one of the fastest-growing threats to America's infrastructure," said David Frazier, chairman of the ONG-ISAC. "ONG-ISAC will help our industry to quickly identify and respond to threats against refineries, pipelines, and other distribution systems that serve U.S. consumers and businesses. It also will provide industry participants a secure way to share information and stay connected with law enforcement agencies."

ONG-ISAC said it will not only provide a secure portal for participants to share information, but will also share with other ISACs and help coordinate industry-wide responses to attacks.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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Kelly Jackson Higgins
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 7:29:17 AM
What was interesting to me about it was that there already is an ICS-ISAC, but the oil & natural gas industry felt it needed its own ISAC. 
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 5:15:13 PM
Was a little surprised they didn't already have one. The key is making sure the information being shared is actionable in real-time.

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