As digitalization grows in the oil and gas industry, companies have become much more vulnerable to cyberattacks, particularly during the pandemic, GlobalData warned this week.
The consultancy said in a new report that the growing use of digital technologies to optimize daily activities in the O&G industry is generating huge volumes of data. These, in turn, become an easy target for hackers, Kallanish Energy learns.
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. The threat is both internal and external, GlobalData said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has increased cyber risk “significantly,” as employees working on personal computers and using public networks are especially vulnerable to phishing and other types of online attacks.
Oil and Gas analyst Ravindra Puranik warned that in cases where hackers exploit these nodes and gain access to a wealth of “critical” information, it would be financially and operationally detrimental for a company.
Data collected is likely to include business plans, project designs, supplier details, contracts, financing and other information.
“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,” said Puranik. “Hence, it is imperative that oil and gas companies adopt a proactive approach in handling cybersecurity.”
The analyst emphasized that broad scale coordination among industry players, government agencies and technology suppliers is essential to tackle “such complex and persistent menace.”
GlobalData’s report points the following companies as industry leaders in cybersecurity: bp, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, ExxonMobil, Gazprom, Shell and Saudi Aramco.
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