Texas-based oil and gas companies are said to be extremely vulnerable to cyber threats. And that’s because the energy industry is inching towards digitalization which otherwise makes it extremely difficult for companies to protect sensitive data.
According to an investigation conducted by Houston Chronicle, Homeland Security has identified over 900 security flaws in US Oil and Gas companies, making the energy industry the worst performer in Cyber Security.
And as the area of Houston is concentrated with refineries, pipelines and petrochemical units, hackers and trade spies are getting more lured to the companies located in this area. Adding to this trend is the usage of a huge network of sensors and controls which makes the companies vulnerable to attacks precisely because of their size and complexity.
Since, a lot of oil and gas companies located in Texas lack facilities with adequate hack controls, they are now being termed as the most critical infrastructure which must be isolated from state-sponsored actors by US authorities.
Imagine a hacker blowing up a tanker or messing with the operations of a refinery….?
For this reason, cyber security experts are advising companies to invest more in cybersecurity as they are now becoming soft targets of environment, religious, and political opponents who can not just inflict damage on costly equipment but can also cause serious trouble to the populace living in the vicinity of the oil & gas companies.
Let’s hope that the new Donald Trump’s government brings in a federal law which imposes some cyber security standards on the oil and gas sectors. This will not only help the oil and gas companies report an incident to a central database, but will also help in bringing down those incidents on a gradual note.