Oil and Gas Cybersecurity

Oil and gas industries get designated as critical infrastructure in the Energy Sector section under the CISA critical infrastructure categories.

A stable supply of fuels is essential to deliver services and keep the economy functional. The oil and gas sector are also cash rich. This, combined with its critical importance, makes the sector a target for cybercriminals, foreign state actors, and some activists with a green political agenda. Attacks against the sector target all areas: extraction, refining, and distribution. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack provides a well-known recent case study on the impact of a successful cyberattack against oil and gas supply infrastructure.

Operators within the oil and gas sector need to secure their IT systems and operational technology (OT) control systems against cyberattacks. They also need to have robust response plans that they can invoke to recover from an attack without resorting to paying a ransom to criminals.

Securing IT and OT systems is challenging, especially if there is a knowledge gap between IT teams who are not experts in OT, or if OT teams do not have knowledge of current cybersecurity threats. Bridging the OT and IT divide to deliver infrastructure cybersecurity is often achieved by using an external specialized cybersecurity managed service provider who has the relevant skilled teams.