Ensuring Security with OATI’s Natural Gas Pipeline Solution

The April cyberattack on a well-known software provider required four natural gas pipeline operators to halt computer communications to prevent customer and business data from being hacked, according to a New York Times article. Although the provider said no customer data was compromised, the article notes that the pipeline infrastructure’s reliance on wireless network connections makes it vulnerable to cyberattacks.

With cybersecurity at the forefront of everyone’s minds, OATI Account Executive Kristi Schnee and Manager of Gas Systems Sheldan Perry contribute to these discussions and explain how customers could feel more secure in the energy industry with OATI’s pipeline transportation and management software.

Understanding Customer Concerns
More customers are moving to a Cloud-based system to improve cost management, Mr. Perry said, though they express concern with security in the Cloud. Due to this wariness, gas industry professionals often rely on their own legacy systems and hardware. However, he said, these systems do not offer the latest security needed to protect customers’ data from cyberattacks.

At this year’s LDC Gas Forums – NE event, OATI Deputy Chief Information Security Officer Jerrod Montoya presented on cybersecurity and myths surrounding Cloud computing. His presentation mentioned how the OATI Cloud has control over its infrastructure and maintains its safety with testing and annual audits (click here to read more about his presentation). Ms. Schnee said it was significant to show customers how a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) web-hosted environment, which controls the technology stack in house, is secure.

She and Mr. Perry met several customers and companies affected by a well-known software provider’s security breach at the event, Ms. Schnee said. According to Reuters, over 100 natural gas pipelines, utilities, energy marketers, etc. use the well-known software provider as a vendor, including ExxonMobil and Chevron. Because of the magnitude of the cyberattack, she said companies have inquired about OATI’s pipeline transportation and management software as an alternative solution.

“We’ve learned from our meetings and demonstrations that webPipeline has some desirable functionalities that other vendors either don’t have or are not utilizing,” Ms. Schnee said.

webPipeline Key Features and Benefits:
•    Viewing of all pipeline and LDC assets upon one login
•    Automated alert notifications (screen pop-up, e-mail, texts)
•    In-depth security roles for users to view only relevant data 
•    Real-time data processing
•    Management of multiple pipeline tariff requirements within one application
•    Automated Unit conversion functionality throughout the system
•    Screen filters and sorting capabilities

OATI’s pipeline transportation and management software offers Transportation Service Providers (TSPs), gathering systems, interstate and storage operators, shippers, and local distribution companies (LDCs) a cost-saving solution for optimizing pipeline operations. NAESB 3.1 certified, our solution uses a configurable user-interface to help maintain your business and maximize profit. Interested in learning how you can ensure security with OATI solutions? Contact sales@oati.net for more information.