The oil and gas industry is a significant contributor to the global economy, but it also has a high risk of cyberattacks. If a company in this industry experiences an attack, the effects could be disastrous.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has a growing presence in the oil and gas industry. The IoT allows for a higher level of automation and remote access, which increases productivity and efficiency. This can:
- Make processes more cost-effective
- Provide better communication between workers
- Help prevent human error
But, these perks come at a cost. When an IoT device is compromised, it could lead to leaks or equipment damage, resulting in costly repairs and cleanups. Here are some of the top reasons why the oil and gas industry needs to use operational technology (OT) security tools:
1. Increased Security
Security will always be a concern for the oil and gas industry. These facilities often operate in remote areas, making them vulnerable to attacks from outsiders. Additionally, many of these facilities do not have large security staff.
A breach could give criminals access to personal data and trade secrets. These could compromise an entire company’s operations. OT cybersecurity can help protect your data through advanced technologies like encryption and firewalls.
2. Proactive Threat Detection
Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, and the oil and gas industry is particularly vulnerable. Cyber-attackers are always on the lookout for weaknesses in software systems. They’re willing to exploit them until they succeed.
As a result, continuous monitoring is essential for cybersecurity. An active defense system will detect when suspicious activity occurs so that you can respond as quickly as possible to prevent a breach.
This is particularly useful in the oil and gas industry because there are so many potential entry points. You have to be able to watch everything from individual endpoints to IoT devices connected over long distances at once.
3. To Mitigate Operational Risk
The bill for an oil company that loses control of its data can be high. This is especially when it comes to any sensitive information about its customers or suppliers. Hackers can use this information to access important resources such as financial records.
As seen with cyberattacks on banks and retailers, losing sensitive data can also affect a company’s reputation. It also becomes hard to keep its customers. However, there’s no need to worry. There are several OT cybersecurity vendors that provide protection against security risks and keep the company working at full capacity.
OT cybersecurity providers have the capability to protect your devices, hardware, and software in an operational technology environment. It monitors the overall process so it can easily detect cyberattacks or faults within the system. And since its role is vital to any industry, it is a must to thoroughly filter the service providers to get the best one.
4. To Cut Operational Downtime
Minimizing operational downtime is vital in the oil and gas industry. As with any business, you need to operate as efficiently as possible to earn a profit. Imagine an oil company producing thousands of barrels of crude oil a day. One hour of downtime means losing all that revenue for nothing. Data security can help prevent this by protecting your systems from external threats.
There are many types of operational risks in the oil and gas industry. These include issues with vendors and suppliers, natural disasters, and ever-changing regulations. Operational technology cybersecurity helps mitigate these risks by providing reliable, tailored solutions. With the proper security measures in place, you’ll be able to protect against internal threats and external threats.
5. Safer Operations
Cyber security is not just about the safety and security of your data, but it also plays a vital role in ensuring safer operations at your oil and gas site. Oil and gas sites are often located in remote places where a cyber-attack can seriously impact the work.
A lack of security framework can lead to a disaster as there is often no way to contact the oil and gas site when something goes wrong. But, if you have a safe and secure cybersecurity system, you will be able to ensure that all operations are running smoothly.
If there is an issue with any equipment or processes, it will be detected immediately and resolved before it gets worse. This will help you avoid sending someone out to repair the equipment or process when it could have been fixed remotely.
6. Improved Productivity
Oil exploration companies spend considerable time and money searching for new resources worldwide. This is to help them meet the growing global demand for energy. Geologists rely on a wide range of data, including maps and geological studies.
This data details past drilling activities in specific areas. By using cloud computing solutions, oil companies can provide team members with secure access to up-to-date information. They can access from anywhere globally across various devices. With this information available, geologists can make faster decisions about where to explore next.
7. Better Compliance and Brand Reputation
It is critical for oil and gas companies to ensure that they follow all regulations set for their industry segment and federal requirements. This can be difficult because of the number of vendors that need to be vetted.
Still, if you want to mitigate risk, you must stay compliant at all times. This requires continuous management and monitoring to ensure no gaps in your compliance. Additionally, most oil and gas companies have stakeholders that expect transparency into where their money goes. So it’s essential to comply with regulations and give them peace of mind knowing that they are in good hands.
If you don’t protect your IT systems or take precautions against cyberattacks, then this will create doubt among investors. They may wonder whether their assets are safe with your company.
8. To Maximize Revenue
Many oil and gas companies depend on computerized systems for operations that are essential to their business model. When those systems are compromised, they can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue and business opportunities.
By building a robust cybersecurity plan with proven techniques like penetration testing, multi-factor authentication, and encryption technology, organizations can cut risk while also maximizing profits. They do this by protecting their assets from hackers who want nothing more than to steal their sensitive data.
The oil and gas industry needs cybersecurity more than ever. The unsecured networks of the past are often a security vulnerability in today’s connected world. To thrive in this ever-changing cyberthreat environment, companies need to understand their operations’ vulnerabilities.
The value of information on those networks is vital. They should have a plan to address any risks going forward.