Many in the Oil and Gas industry see security as a single entity.  It is just another issue to address in the landscape of issues demanding attention of the busy executive.  The economy is so badly beating up the Oil and Gas industry these days that it is difficult to consider much more than the share price of the stock or what actions are necessary for the business to survive.  Life is pretty basic and gets very simple when it all boils down to the very survival of the company.

However, there is a serious issue brewing that can no longer be ignored.  The threat of a cyber security attack on one of the major Oil and Gas industry players is just waiting to happen.  All of the major industry players have all been severely depleted of the qualified staff that previously were the protectors at the proverbial gate.  During the many rounds of layoffs of the workforce, these critical cyber security employees were caught in these job actions too and have been lost to the business.  But, security risk does not cease just because of an industry downturn.  Endless vigilance is not just important, but is absolutely mandatory to protect your assets and defend your company from attack.  If you think that the pain of the economy is bad now, just wait until it is compounded when a serious cyber attack is perpetrated.  Your share value will vapourize before your eyes.  Your loyalist investors will seek protection elsewhere.  Your company name will be front-page news.

This pain can be avoided.  But, how?  The answer is to outsource the security if you can no longer afford to operate it yourself internally.

You need to appreciate two important points.  Cyber threats are highly dynamic and multidimensional.   For a better understanding and a clearer view of the important graphic below, here is a link to the source files for download from Momentum Partners.   Download

Copyright: Momentum Partners

In today’s world, we see cyber threats on a multitude of fronts.

  • Infrastructure
  • Endpoints
  • Applications
  • Web
  • Messaging
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Transaction (eCommerce or B2B)
  • Mobile
  • Data Security
  • Cloud
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Security Operations and Incident Response
  • Risk and Compliance / Regulatory
  • Threat Intelligence
  • Specialized Threat Analysis and Protection

Each of these headings has subheadings too.  It is a complex set of parameters to manage and it is ever changing.  The Gartner image below shows how dynamic security is and how the Oil and Gas industry needs to be agile in response to these changes in the threat.

Copyright: Gartner Inc.

Even in these tough economic conditions, Oil and Gas executives have a continuous fiduciary duty to maintain vigilance and protect the assets of the business from cyber threats.

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About the Author:

Michael Martin has 40 years of experience in broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless and digital video communications technologies. He is a Senior Executive Consultant with IBM Canada’s GTS Network Services Group. Over the past 11 years with IBM, he has worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He was previously a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN:TSX). Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO:TSX) and previously served on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX:TSX.V).  He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and on the Board of Advisers of four different Colleges in Ontario as well as for 16 years on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section.  He holds three Masters level degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has diplomas and certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology.

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