Significant modifications to oil and gas infrastructure over the last few years have made organizations far more vulnerable to hackers. Due to the industry’s ongoing digitalization and the shift away from the conventional systems toward dispersed management solutions, controlling cyber threats has become critical for oil and gas.
Numerous firms rely on ineffective cybersecurity techniques, such as air-gapped systems, or PCs that are not linked to the Internet. In certain instances, systems that were mistakenly believed to be air-gapped were simple targets for assault.
While these tactics have never offered robust safeguards, they may increasingly expose businesses to attack in the future. Legacy systems that were never designed to be freely accessible are now connected to the internet for visibility and maintenance, thus closing the industry’s IT-OT divide.
Internet-connected technologies and smart gadgets, which are becoming more prevalent in heavy industry, assist oil and gas businesses in collecting real-time data on field operations, optimizing maintenance, and enhancing vehicle fleet visibility. Additionally, they expand the attack surface of corporate networks.
Additionally, these systems may hold a massive quantity of data regarding oil and gas devices. A predictive maintenance solution that utilizes data from IoT sensors may incorporate information about the type of metal plating used on a machine in order to accurately anticipate wear, corrosion resistance, and conductivity.
All of this data may be accessible to attackers who penetrate a company’s cyber defenses.
Investment in smart technology and automation is also increasing, which means that security challenges associated with these systems are expected to grow more complex to handle. As a result, effective cybersecurity for oil and gas will become more critical.