During his State of the Union Address, President Obama unveiled an Executive Order (EO) and Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity . The EO and PPD come in the wake of two failed attempts by Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, and are generally aimed at seeking to improve relationships across the federal government and industry to strengthen critical infrastructure security. The EO and PPD also contain several directives relevant to pipeline operators. Among these, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is directed to establish a national physical infrastructure center and cyber infrastructure center to serve as “focal points” for critical infrastructure owners to obtain information to protect their facilities. The EO also requires the federal government to develop a “Cybersecurity Framework” to address cyber risks, and outline a voluntary critical infrastructure cybersecurity program to promote sharing of information by private infrastructure owner/operators. The EO also requires DHS to formulate a risk-based list of critical infrastructure most vulnerable to a cybersecurity incident. The EO and PPD prescribe fairly aggressive deadlines for accomplishment of these directives. Click here for a full summary and to review the Executive Order and PPD.