Managed Security Services for the Oil and Gas Industries

IT professionals across the oil and gas sector share concerns over becoming the latest victim of cybercriminals. One attack can shut down an entire system and create a state of emergency. As a result, the focus on strengthening infrastructure security has never been greater. This article will review managed security services for the oil and gas industries.

Security is a Global Energy Industry Priority

In the last year, the industry suffered major cybersecurity incidents across the globe. At the same time, rising demand for oil & gas means new facilities and expanded market growth for managed security services.

The strategic nature of the oil & gas industry requires proactive approaches to securing facilities. Just one operational disruption can have an adverse effect on the global economy. Essentially, the entire value chain of material handled by the industry is at risk.

While the types of cyber threats may vary, the financial damage and resulting economic impact are significant. For example, SCADA and IoT are standard industry systems used for operational and data monitoring purposes.

Therefore, a theft or terrorist attack on one or both can lead to devastating consequences such as:

  • Injury or loss of life
  • Lengthy supply disruption
  • Expensive facility damage

Furthermore, a cyber attack on corporate infrastructure can compromise intellectual property that keeps your company an industry leader.

Security Risks Leave All Sectors Vulnerable

In addition to posing a data security risk for company information and employee records, the three major sectors are equally vulnerable: upstream, midstream and downstream. The last place you want to be is in the middle of an operations attack against all three simultaneously.

Within each sector, IT and operational technology are vulnerable no matter the intent of the attack. The list is long and may occur to:

  • Harm product quality
  • Sabotage plants
  • Disrupt production
  • Cover up an oil spill
  • Violate compliance regulations

Cybersecurity threats compromise the oil and gas industry in many ways. Some attacks disrupt activity by deleting content or changing how business software performs. Others are acts of espionage or data theft that lead to a larger attack. Still, a disgruntled employee may destroy data or sell it to a competitor.

Awareness of these concerns requires preemptive measures that keep a close watch on management systems and the entire infrastructure. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a managed security services provider.

What are Managed Security Services?

Managed security is a service by a third-party provider to monitor and manage your IT infrastructure. This includes operational systems, SaaS applications and security systems. The managed security services provider, or MSSP, offers 24/7 proactive protection.

Based on the needs of your oil and gas company, these services can occur either remotely on in-house. Primary goals may include detecting and triaging malicious cybersecurity threats. An MSSP can also help in setting protocols to prevent an attack or minimize the damage if one occurs.

Additionally, managed security comes in a variety of services. Whether your oil & gas company needs assistance in setting up a secure infrastructure or help desk support, you can have peace of mind.

Some providers specialize in specific areas to defend energy producing systems. Others offer full virtualization services to help you minimize costs.

Reasons to Add Managed Security Services

Changes to an already complex cybersecurity landscape contribute to the reasons oil and gas companies consider adding managed security to their IT infrastructure. Threats can exacerbate a lack of in-house expertise or resources making these services more valuable.

Monitoring and management do not stop after normal business hours. In fact, the oil & gas industry is always on and needs the right systems in place. Delay in taking proactive steps to strengthen operations exposes the company to significant losses.

Managed security services are a valuable option for closing the gap of an internal IT team.

Continuous Oversight

Handling cybersecurity in-house takes tremendous manpower and a large investment in technology. Through managed security, your oil & gas company receives around-the-clock oversight without the added overhead and labor costs.

Cyber Attack Protection

Cyber attacks are ever-evolving occurrences. One new threat follows after another, especially if you are not prepared with the proper resources and tools. This presents a challenge to addressing threats and recovering with minimal downtime to energy production.

Proactive monitoring ensures a prompt response to a cyber attack. The provider has a plan in place to eliminate the threat or minimize the damage.

Manage Other Security Functions

In addition to protecting your company from cyber attacks, an MSSP can evaluate your current IT infrastructure. Managed security services can include vulnerability testing, routine scans and other activities.

Receiving these services from a third party frees up your IT team to advance company goals.

Access to Expertise

When you decide to use a managed security services provider, you have direct access to industry expertise. MSSPs are in the business of supporting clients with advanced technologies that help protect their infrastructure against cyber threats.

Providers also bring knowledge of oil & gas regulations that can determine how you conduct business. Their support ensures your systems operate in full compliance with industry standards.

Benefits of Working with an MSSP

The primary benefit of working with a managed security services provider is your company gets accessibility to additional staff expertise. A provider manages critical security processes off-site and you continue to operate with minimal intrusion.

However, out-of-sight does not equal out-of-mind. Rather, the MSSP keeps the lines of communication open. From help desk ticket statuses to possible breaches, seamless reporting will keep you informed.

By outsourcing, managed security services can help your oil and gas company realize cost savings. Those savings can be used for new construction and expansion projects.

Let Us Handle the Heavy Lifting

You face a unique set of challenges in maintaining an IT infrastructure that keeps your oil and gas company functioning on all points. A tight budget and limited in-house resources increase your level of concern. Meriplex offers comprehensive managed security services so you don’t carry this load alone.

A partnership with us helps to keep operations running smoothly in the background while you focus on what makes your company the best. Contact us today to learn more about how our managed security protects you against cyber attacks.