Cyber Threat Has Oil And Gas Majors On Edge

July 7, 2015

The massive cyber breach of the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) systems is the latest in a string of high profile cyber attacks in the last couple of years.

Before OPM, media coverage focused on hacks at Sony Corporation, Home Depot, Target, and Care First. In between these notable incidents has been comparatively-quiet coverage of cyber attacks at energy firms. For example, the 2012 breach of Saudi Aramco’s network that disabled 30,000 computers, or the 2014 hack of a South Korean nuclear plant operator’s computer system received much less attention. A 2014 article attributed the 2008 explosion of a Turkish pipeline to a cyber attack, the first documented digital compromise of critical infrastructure.

According to HP Enterprise Security’s 2014 Global Report on the Cost of Cyber Crime, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, energy and utilities suffered the highest average annualized losses from cyber crimes ($13.2 million), closely followed by the finance sector ($12.97 million); dwarfing much covered – media, retail and health care sectors.

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