Digitisation Poses Threat for Energy Industry: Report
The oil and gas industry's growing reliance on digital technologies heightens the risk of cyber-attacks, according to a new report by GlobalData. The shift to digital technology began as a way to save time and money and improve efficiencies but it has accelerated thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees working on personal computers and using public networks are especially vulnerable to phishing and other types of cyber-attacks.
GlobalData's latest thematic report, Cybersecurity in Oil & Gas (2020), highlights the importance of cybersecurity technologies in the industry, in order to protect oil and gas assets against internal as well as external threats. Each node in a company's network, whether a computer terminal, a cell phone, sensors, or a networked camera, can become an entry point for hackers, it warns.
GlobalData says that hackers can exploit these nodes and gain access to a wealth of information, including business plans, project designs, supplier details, contracts, financing, and other critical information. Loss or theft of such data can prove financially and operationally detrimental for an oil and gas company.
"The frequency and sophistication in cyberattacks has increased over the years, as seen in the case of the Shamoon attack that has targeted Saudi Aramco on multiple instances. Hence, it is imperative that oil and gas companies adopt a proactive approach in handling cybersecurity. Broad scale coordination among industry players, government agencies, and technology vendors is essential to tackle such complex and persistent menace," it says.