Oil and Gas Cyberattacks growing exponentially

Oil and Gas Cyberattacks growing exponentially

As GCC oil demand projections for 2024 sink, oil and gas (O&G) firms across the Middle East region are under more pressure than ever to reinforce their financial security into the coming year.

However, within this Oil and Gas industry, there are few cybersecurity guidelines or frameworks from governments or industry groups, yet the sector’s use of digital systems to assist in the extraction, transportation, and refinement of products makes it an easy and profitable target for cybercriminals.

With ongoing conflicts, new artificial-intelligence-enhanced technologies, and an increase in digitalisation and operational technology, the threat of a successful cyberattack on the industry is growing exponentially.

Organisations simply cannot risk losing money, customer and shareholder trust, or operation uptime in the case of a successful cyberattack. In the case of a business such as Saudi Aramco, which generates up to $700 million, any time spent non-operational is extremely costly.

According to Oil and Gas IQ, companies in the oil and gas industry are attractive targets to cybercriminals because “energy infrastructure is critical to modern economies.” Aiming for these sectors ensures ripple effects that extend far beyond the scope of a regular cyber-attack.

The Oil and Gas industries in the Middle East were the fifth most affected industry sector by ransomware attacks, and are in constant need of updating to meet the turbulent digital economy.