The ongoing dialogue regarding cyberattacks often concentrates on the financial or private sectors, with references to critical information housed by banks, hospitals, and retail giants. However, this is a harmful misconception, as any industry can be adversely affected by malware and phishing attacks. The oil and gas industry in particular has seen a rise in cyberattacks, but many of these companies have yet to secure their digital infrastructures.
The Reality of Cyber Threats
Oil and gas companies retain a great deal of sensitive information, ranging from consumer details to full computer access of critical equipment. Therefore, an attack anywhere within this industry has ripple effects inside and outside a targeted company. For example, a well or a pipeline that is targeted could lead to oil spills or significant disruption in distribution. Attacks against the operation technology (OT) sector of the oil and gas industry can have devastating consequences, particularly when the world considers petroleum such an important commodity.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Technological advancements have expanded what the OT sector – in partnership with the IT sector – is capable of, but without proper risk management, it can be difficult to sustain profitable operations. Cyber-threats will continue to evolve, time and again challenging your cybersecurity systems to counter these cyberattacks. With the continuous changes in offshore physical locations, as well as onsite databases, the oil and gas industry is at a crucial point in establishing secure systems and effectively managing risk.
The Benefits of Prevention
With human error existing as one of the top cybersecurity threats, education is essential in teaching employees how to recognize advanced threats and how to prevent attacks. This knowledge can both help employees detect and defend from hackers who are eager to dismantle your operations. It can be as simple as opening an email, and hackers are skilled at constructing almost imperceptible access points to your company’s most private information.
It is suspected that almost half of all cyberattacks in the OT sector go completely unnoticed. How many billions of dollars have slipped through the cracks of your company’s cybersecurity system? It is not a matter of if but a matter of when the oil and gas industry will face a cyberattack of overwhelming proportions. All industries are being affected, and the oil and gas industry is a lucrative victim.
The ITeam Is Your Oil & Gas IT Partner
With over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, The ITeam – in collaboration with our energy clients – has designed a comprehensive service offering to deliver superior results. Whether your company is in the upstream, midstream, or downstream market, proprietary data is business critical. The ITeam’s oil and gas experience is extensive, and we have experience in many industry-specific software packages, including exploration and production, GIS mapping, accounting, office productivity suites, and everything in-between. We know what works for our energy clients, and we leverage our industry-specific expertise to offer everything at a fixed monthly price. Contact us to learn more.