Cyber security vulnerabilities are everywhere

The issue is not if an attack will occur, but when it will occur. The best way to prepare for the inevitable is to adopt an active defense, leaving passive defense methods for the decade gone by.
By Eric R. Eissler April 10, 2015

News accounts of cyber attacks are on the rise. Despite the growth in frequency and severity of attacks, cyber security is a major issue that continues to be overlooked. Although some companies are starting to take notice of this issue and beginning to implement defenses, many more enterprises remain vulnerable.

The issue is not if an attack will occur, but when it will occur. The best way to prepare for the inevitable is to adopt an active defense, leaving passive defense methods for the decade gone by. Security software and firewalls alone will no longer protect companies from cyber attacks. IT professionals must actively scour their company’s networks for breaches and invasions from the outside.

Cyber security can cost U.S. companies as much as $3 trillion in lost time, productivity, and unrealized growth across all industries. This level of impact should be a stern wake-up call for CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other top leaders.

With the growing interconnectivity of oil- and gasfields, cyber security has become just as important as the physical protection of assets—if not more.

With this issue, Oil & Gas Engineering lifts the veil on cyber security challenges unique to the oil and gas industry and offers suggestions on how to improve defenses and how to prepare for an attack. Cyber security is a major problem, and we hope to highlight that in this issue. Moving forward, this topic will become a standard feature in the magazine.

Eric R. Eissler, associate editor, Oil and Gas Engineering, CFE Media. Courtesy: CFE MediaAlso in this issue: Chris Shipp explains the steps oil and gas companies can take to protect themselves from cyber villains. Robert M. Lee begins his five-part series on the active cyber defense cycle. Peter Welander continues his series on technology drivers in oil and gas with a look at refining. Sidney Hill writes about the expansion of mobility and wireless in oilfields. Nina Rach explains the role of sensors in the digital oilfiled. Ryan Supple wants to keep us safe with relevant relief device considerations.

Finally, this issue also reports on developments to watch from the University of Houston and its use of nanotechnology in reservoirs and research involving smart cement with sensing capabilities. And from "the land down under" comes an explanation of an environmentally friendly fracking technology.

– Eric R. Eissler, Editor-in-Chief, Oil & Gas Engineering, CFE Media, eeissler@cfemedia.com.

See related stories from the April issue below.