Operationalising cybersecurity has been a major challenge for oil and gas engineers to date. With their primary priority to maintain uptime, these managers have been putting off updating security: ironically, implementing cybersecurity across process control networks can be seen as increasing risk. As a result, operations would rather isolate their systems from that of the rest of the company, including IT from IT security policies.
However, this is changing. Several advanced oil and gas operators now recognise the need to deploy cybersecurity technologies to stay in business. The need for cybersecurity is being used by savvy plant managers to make the case for upgrading failing equipment and modernising plants. Pragmatically, this often means opening connections into plant production, highlighting the productivity and cost saving benefits it could bring. Instead of fighting the drive to connectivity, operators are getting involved in their company’s new technology choices in the cybersecurity domain, such as secure remote access controls, and helping guide investment decisions toward solutions that bear their productivity needs in mind.
By Greg Maciel
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