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Cybersecurity: Preventing Infection in a Body of Data

Source: Getty Images.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. That’s an adage that often alerts us to the dangers of knowing—and yet not mitigating—the repercussions of risk. And with the resurgence of cyberattacks globally, it’s also a wakeup call to cyber readiness.

The oil and gas industry faces particular risk—though it’s not necessarily ready (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1—How cyber threats impact the oil and gas value chain. Source: Erdal Ozkaya.

 

Sixty-one percent of oil and gas professionals who are responsible for cyber risk said their organization fell short last year in protecting and securing its industrial control systems (ICS). ­Sixty-eight percent surveyed said their organization had experienced at least one cyber compromise in the past year, resulting in OT disruption or the loss of confidential ­information (Ponemon 2017).

And perhaps most alarming: They did not have a clear strategy to address it.

This is an industry where the opportunities for infiltration are nearly limitless. A typical large oil and gas company uses half a million processors just for reservoir simulation; it generates, transmits, and stores petabytes (each equal to 1,015 bytes) of sensitive field data; and it operates thousands of drilling and production control systems in diverse locations, with numerous fields, vendors, service providers, and partners (Mittal et al. 2015).

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Cybersecurity: Preventing Infection in a Body of Data

Lynnmarie P. Flowers, Technology Editor

01 August 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 8

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