Cybersecurity in the Oil and Gas Industry: 5 Key Points to Consider

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Our growing reliance on technology and web-based communication has made our organizations more vulnerable to cybercrimes. This is especially true in the oil and gas industry, where cyber-attacks can jeopardize several parts of the organization, such as underdeveloped IT infrastructure. This is why it is crucial to have systems in place to defend the oil and gas companies from cyber threats.  

Awareness and Training are Essential

Technological advancements require companies to assume responsibility for informing and equipping their staff to respond to cyber threats through training and awareness. This can greatly reduce the possibility of a cyber-attack disrupting workflows in plants due to human errors. In the event of an attack, trained workforces should have an actionable response plan at their disposal. This is especially true for off-shore gas and oil companies, which are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Investing in Security Measures

Multi-factor authentication, firewalls, and web filtering systems are crucial to prevent cyber-attacks. For instance, multi-factor authentication requires personnel to go through multiple checkpoints in order to access critical or sensitive data. Firewalls should be managed by an internal security operations center or outsourced to qualified managed IT providers that track the digital activity of the organization. 

Creating Data Back-Ups at Regular Intervals

In this day and age, digital data reigns supreme, which is why companies look to back up their data at regular intervals to avoid the loss of critical information during a cyber-attack. Not only does this aid with record-keeping, but it also ensures that companies retain the data they have stored on their systems. As a result, IT services providers such as EAG1Source that offer full-scale IT solutions tailored to different stages have become an essential part of the oil and gas industry.

Focusing On Risk Assessment and Management

Proactively identifying the gaps and vulnerabilities in the company’s digital infrastructure is essential for risk assessment and management. The company’s IT staff should actively seek out and resolve any areas that might make the company vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Risk assessment and management strategy is a vital component of an organization’s cyber safety, especially in the case of oil and gas organizations with complex hierarchies and reserves of sensitive client information. 

Solidifying Cyber Security Measures By Integrating Them into the Company Policy

Companies should integrate their cybersecurity-related rules and regulations into the company policy to create a record of these stipulations, and also ensure that employees adhere to these rules. This record should also clearly state whether employees can connect their own devices to the company’s digital network. If employees are allowed to connect their devices to the company’s network, there should be rules in place to determine which parts of the company’s data they can access using their personal device, and also whether or not they are allowed to permanently save this data onto their own devices. 

On top of the five major considerations discussed above, oil and gas companies should stay up to date on cybersecurity developments by conducting relevant independent research on credible platforms, and only employ reliable service providers.

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