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Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer-based and other electronically enabled systems from inadvertent and malicious attacks. Cybersecurity failures can lead to the theft of information and losses related to data access, other network access, and/or reliable access to or functioning of Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

The practice of cybersecurity is often compartmentalized into protection of Information Technology (IT) or Operational Technology (OT) systems. IT cybersecurity seeks to protect computer systems from data theft and loss of access to information, computer functionality, and IT network functionality. OT cybersecurity focuses on assuring the reliable functioning of ICS. Both are necessary for a comprehensive program.

Promotion of OT cybersecurity is in line with the mission of BSEE “to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement,” because failure of OT cybersecurity on an OCS facility could lead to serious human, environmental, or national security harm. OSIB is currently leading the efforts within BSEE to define and implement a strategic framework for BSEE to play a more formal role in establishing cybersecurity expectations for energy operations on the OCS.

BSEE collaborates with other federal partners who were assigned primary authority to protect the nation’s energy sector critical infrastructure, and will be providing leadership and a unified interface for energy companies operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Federal partners and their cybersecurity approaches include the following: