International Finance

Cyber risks in Middle East’s oil and gas sector: Report

yber threat, operational technology, oil and gas, Siemens and Ponemon Institute, information technology, critical infrastructure
Digitisation encourages cyberattacks to penetrate into other sectors such as oil and gas, which necessitates greater awareness in operating environments

A new research from Siemens and Ponemon Institute reveals that firms need to speed up cyber awareness and rate of technology deployment to secure oil and gas operating environments.

Until recently, cyber threats targeted IT assets such as PCs and workstations.

According to Tahawul Tech, the report explores the readiness of the Middle East oil and gas sector in cyberspace, and the necessary measures required to bridge the existing gaps. Nearly 200 individuals in the region responsible for addressing cyber risks within their organisations were being surveyed.

The findings show that 60% of the respondents strongly believe the cyber risk directed to Operational technology is more than Information Technology. Of the respondents, 75% of the cases had at least one security risk leading to confidential loss of information or disturbance in the OT environment in the last one year.

Vice-President and Global Head, Industrial Cyber at Siemens Energy, Leo Simonovich, said, “The convergence of IT and OT has become a key opportunity for attackers to infiltrate an organisation’s critical infrastructure, disrupting physical devices or operational processes.

“We know that attacks are becoming more frequent and increasingly sophisticated, and firms quickly need to assign dedicated ownership of OT cyber, gain visibility into their assets, demand purpose-built solutions and partner with experts who have real domain expertise.”

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