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Cyber Resilience Best Practices For Oil & Gas

Today’s oil and gas industry is not the same as it used to be. Digitalization has saturated all its spheres, and it’s overwhelming for oil and gas boards to keep up with such a rapid pace of innovations. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that these changes require immediate adjustments in terms of digital security and cyber resilience. Here are the principles that will help you navigate your company through the changes and contribute to a sustainable low-carbon future.

Build a Clear Cybersecurity Governance Model

A governance model should be built with interoperability in mind. Since connectivity has transformed the oil and gas industry, it’s crucial to link IT, OT, and safety requirements into a coherent ecosystem, with security being a priority. This presupposes establishing a cyber risk-based program initiated by a board and appointing people to execute it. 

With a clear authority and hierarchy, cyber resilience is achieved through personnel training, straightforward policies, and continuous evaluation of their effectiveness. A CSO should report on security performance directly to the CEO based on pre-defined indicators. This will help oil and gas boards make well-considered strategic decisions and plan security budgets more efficiently.

Encourage Resilience by Design Culture

Resilience by design means that cybersecurity becomes immanent to all your operations and infrastructure. It requires a company to prioritize managing, monitoring, and maintaining cyber-resilience governance across all aspects of the value chain. By design approach is focused on breach prevention. Therefore, spending on incident-response becomes less likely. Saved time and costs can be reinvested in resilience best practices.

To ensure resilience culture covers all business units, set specific metrics for each of them and measure the percentage of processes that integrate cyber-resilience practices. Clear standards and principles communicated by the board allow each personnel member to contribute to the overall strategy. This enhances the cyber resilience culture and nurtures its cross-departmental nature.

Make Cyber Resilience a Corporate Responsibility

Companies will benefit if managers embrace the concept of cyber responsibility. Ensure they realize how cyber risk may impact the whole value chain and a company’s reputation within the oil and gas industry. When they become self-motivated to explore new cyber-resilience principles and practices, natural and conscious cyberculture arises. And it is far more effective than an imposed one.

Start Ecosystem-wide Planning

The best practices you learn in collaboration with partners from the oil and gas industry should not remain just on paper. Bring them to life by strategically planning cyber-resilience activities across the ecosystem. Set up a schedule of regular exercises imitating cyberattacks and immediate responses, decide how you’re going to measure their effectiveness. It can be a percentage of units or systems that successfully passed the training, or the evaluated amount of money saved during a test cyberattack.

Closing Thoughts

The oil and gas officers are predisposed to building long-term strategies and operating within the whole ecosystem. Meanwhile, it’s vital to keep in focus spreading these plans across the organization. At the end of the day, resilience to cyber threats is defined by how the management has communicated the strategy to the actual employees performing their everyday tasks. No matter how great the strategy is, it won’t protect you unless your personnel knows how to detect, prevent, and respond to cyberattacks. And their work routines are the answer to the question “Is my company prepared?”