Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Today is the first business day of the New Year and marks the official end of the Holiday Season. It also is a good time to review what is in store for the chemical- and cyber-security communities for the new year.


In case you hadn’t noticed this is another election year with all of the House members, 1/3 of the Senate and the President up for election. As we proceed with the year the amount of influence that these pending elections will have on Congressional Action will become more and more pronounced.

We finally got the FY 2012 budget settled at nearly the last minute of last year. Today marks the start of the new budget process. The President will submit the FY 2013 budget request later this month. Congress will hold some hearings where the Department Secretaries explain what the President is asking for, but will otherwise ignore the budget request. There will again be major disputes between the House and Senate and most of the budget will be resolved in a lame duck session in November and December.

We may get stand-alone CFATS legislation passed in the House before the Summer Recess, but that might get held-up by hearings on the ISCD report. There are still no indications about which House bill will get considered, but which ever makes it to the floor will almost certainly get passed. I do expect some interesting amendments will come out of the ISCD problems. There will almost certainly not be any Senate action on the bill before the elections. Lame duck action will depend on the election results.

Cyber security legislation will almost certainly pass early this year. The main focus of the legislation will be on IT and personal information security issues as well as the security of federal computer systems. Only minor bones will be thrown to the control system community.


Problem solving at ISCD will further slow the implementation of site security plan approvals for the first part of the year. It’s hard to tell for sure how long without seeing the actual report, but it could get further slowed by Congressional assistance. Hopefully we will see ISCD action on at least some of the following promised actions:

• CFATS De-enrollment Tool;
• Personnel Surety Tool;
• Update of SSP Tool;
• Update of Appendix A; and
• MTSA Harmonization.

We will almost certainly not see any further action on the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program in 2013.

There may be some movement on MTSA related issues this year as we are expecting to see some new rulemaking for CFATS harmonization, a variety of TWIC issues and the long expected TWIC Reader Rule. Unfortunately, none of that will be final rules.

TSA could be the surprising actor this year with action on the long-overdue trucking and railroad security training rules. There could be more backing into regulatory action on pipeline security. Again we are a long way from final rules on any of that.


I’ll go out on a very thick limb here and predict that we are going to see major new action in the merger of political activism, the anarchy movements, and computer hacking. This will be the source of major news stories for this year. I would not be surprised to hear that DOW gets major attention for their sponsorship of the Olympics and it could include one or more control system hacks, most likely a DOS type attack shutting down one or more production facilities.

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