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Cyber attackers targeting oil and gas industry, says research

There has been a rise in cyber attacks in the energy sector, with 82 per cent of oil and gas industry respondents saying their organisations have seen an increase in successful cyber attacks over the past 12 months according to research by Tripwire.

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There were also 53 per cent respondents that said the rate of cyber attacks has increased between 50 and 100 per cent over the past month while 69 per cent said they were ‘not confident’ their organisations were able to detect all cyber attacks.

Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire, said: “The increase in successful attacks should be deeply concerning.  Successful attacks could mean that attackers are able to breach a specific security control or that they have been able to get closer to sensitive data using phishing or malware scams that have been detected. It could also mean that attackers are launching more persistent, targeted attacks.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the energy sector faces more cyber attacks than any other industry. Additionally, the energy sector has been impacted by robust state-sponsored cyber espionage campaigns, such as Trojan.Laziok and Energetic Bear, with these kinds of attacks having the potential to damage physical infrastructure.

Erlin said: “In combination with the lack of confidence in detection capabilities these findings demonstrate that the oil and gas industry needs to increase investment in basic best practices to materially reduce risk. Unfortunately, these results indicate that things will probably get worse before they get better.”


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