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Oil and gas industry is a prime target for cyber criminals

Published:  05 October, 2017

Organisers of the second annual Security in Energy conference, to be held in Abu Dhabi in November, say that oil and gas has been exposed as a prime target for cyber criminals after the industry was singled out during international ransomware attacks.

Co-located within the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), Security in Energy says it recognises the increasingly critical importance of IT systems to oil and gas operations, and follows two major ransomware attacks in the first half of 2017.

The second of these, the NotPetya attack at the end of June, appears to have specifically targeted oil and gas companies. According to analysis by Kaspersky Labs, just three business sectors accounted for around 80% of targets. Oil and gas accounted for around 25%, a close second to the finance sector, and just ahead of manufacturing.

“Cybercrime is a serious problem for any business, but recent incidents raise concerns that oil and gas companies will be high-priority targets for attacks,” said Christopher Hudson, president – global energy at dmg events, which organises ADIPEC in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

“The Security in Energy conference provides a robust discussion specific to the needs of this industry, helping companies ensure that strong defences are in place.”

Recent reports predict the Middle East cyber security market will grow from US$11.38 billion in 2017 to US$22.14 billion by 2022. ADIPEC’s Security in Energy Conference delivers the latest market intelligence in energy security protocols, and places a spotlight on the best innovations, security practices and crisis planning within the industry.

Specific conference sessions will cover key topics in cyber security, including ransomware; the internet of things (IoT); the convergence of operating technology and IT; security and compliance risks in cloud computing; risk management for supply chain and business continuity and the use of big data and analytics. Keynote addresses will focus on the balance between investment and risk, and the impact of regional collaboration on oil and gas security, with discussions to include both defensive and offensive approaches to security.

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