A report has revealed that the oil and gas industry face increased risk from advanced threat groups as they continue to build out digitally connected infrastructure.
The “Drilling Deep: A Look at Cyberattacks on the Oil and Gas Industry” report by Trend Micro, draws on insights into almost a decade’s worth of cyber attacks against the sector.
The report found geopolitics and espionage motivate attackers targeting the oil and gas industry, and whilst these attacks are not always sophisticated they are often targeted and impact production, resulting in real-world damage.
The report explained that most oil and gas companies are typically run in hard-to-reach locations, thus remote monitoring for performance, quality control and safety is essential. However, due to bandwidth limitations, and the focus on availability, communications are often left unencrypted.
Subsequently, the focus on data availability makes financially motivated ransomware attacks a big risk for the industry. A well-executed ransomware attack can cost millions of dollars in damages and down time.
In addition, oil and gas companies have increasingly come under attack by advanced threat groups, like APT33, which usually targets military and defense organisations with geopolitical agendas.
Oil and gas companies are also at risk from attacks designed to steal sensitive information.
“Industrial cybersecurity is not hopeless. We sometimes forget that in complex environments with appropriate security controls, the attacker is the one who has to get everything right,” said Bill Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies for Trend Micro.
“Industrial control systems (ICS) manufacturers and integrators are beginning to understand the value of a comprehensive, layered approach to information security. In tandem, information security firms like Trend Micro are expanding their integration and analytical capabilities. As the IIoT market consolidates, enterprises will have a clearer choice identifying superior, well-integrated and proven technology to protect their systems.”
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