Cybersecurity in the oil and gas industry: how to protect your business

Iryna Hnatiuk


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March 3, 2024


time icon 7 minutes read


Cybersecurity in the oil and gas industry is not only important for keeping data safe, but also critical for maintaining operational continuity, preventing financial losses, and protecting customer information.

But how can you make sure your organization is properly secured? Keep reading!

Why cybersecurty is crucial for oil and gas companies 

Cybersecurity is of paramount importance for oil and gas companies. With the increasing reliance on technology, networks and SCADA systems, the industry is increasingly vulnerable to malicious actors attempting to attack these networks.

According to Atlas VPN, 73% of organizations have experienced some form of cyber attack over the past year. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of these organizations report having been victims of ransomware attacks.

Moreover, recent studies from Gartner also indicate that over half of all cyber attacks targeting oil & gas companies were successful in causing disruption or stealing data. The average cost of a data breach in 2022 was almost $10 million dollar. This highlights not only the direct financial implications of a breach but also its potential long-term reputational damage. 

Given this landscape, it’s essential that oil and gas companies not only invest in the right cyber security measures, but also develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure they are well prepared to tackle potential threats. This includes proactive monitoring and response mechanisms as well as regular training on cybersecurity best practices for all staff members. With such an approach in place, organizations can reduce the risk of a breach, lessen its impact if one does occur, and ultimately safeguard their business.

By recognizing the importance of effective cybersecurity for oil and gas companies, business owners can ensure their operations remain secure today, and well into the future  

Why cybersecurty is crucial for oil and gas companies

Common cybersecurity risks in the oil and gas industry

In the first half of 2022, phishing attacks grew by 48%, with reports of 11,395 cases costing firms a total of $12.3 million. According to Security Intelligence research, ransomware attacks increased by 41% in 2022, and it took 49 extra days than usual to identify and fix a breach.

Let’s discuss oil and gas cybersecurity risks in more detail.

Unsecured wireless networks

One of the most common oil and gas cybersecurity risks is unsecured wireless networks. An unsecured network can be easily hacked, providing attackers with access to sensitive data including financial information and customer records.

Phishing attacks

Phishing attacks are a form of cybercrime where an attacker attempts to gain access to confidential information by impersonating someone else. Attackers will often send emails that appear to be from legitimate sources in order to trick people into providing sensitive information such as passwords or banking details.

Intrusion detection systems (IDS)

Intrusion detection systems are designed to detect any unauthorized access attempts on computer networks, and alert security personnel. They are typically used to protect the internal networks of businesses, and can be highly effective in preventing malicious actors from accessing confidential data in oil and gas companies.


Malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to damage or disrupt computer systems. It can be used by attackers to gain access to information stored on computers, such as financial records or customer databases.

Data loss prevention (DLP)

DLP is a security system designed to prevent the unauthorized transfer of sensitive information from one location to another. This system monitors all data transfers, and will alert security personnel if it detects any suspicious activity or unauthorized attempts at transferring data.

Physical security

Physical security controls are an important part of any security system, as they can help to prevent unauthorized access to physical assets. This includes the use of locks, surveillance cameras and other measures that can help protect against intrusions into oil and gas facilities.

Database security

The databases that store all of an organization’s sensitive information need to be adequately secured in order to ensure that only authorized personnel can access them. Organizations should also regularly audit their databases for any unauthorized changes or access attempts.

Cloud security

Cloud computing platforms are becoming increasingly popular among oil and gas companies, as they allow businesses to easily share data between different users and locations. However, it is important that organizations secure their cloud infrastructure properly in order to prevent attackers from gaining access to sensitive information.

Network security

Network security involves the use of measures to protect the networks used by oil and gas companies from malicious actors. This includes firewalls, anti-virus software and other measures that can help to detect and prevent intrusions into company networks. 

Mobile security

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular in the oil and gas industry, as they allow employees to access data on-the-go. It is essential that organizations put in place adequate mobile security measures such as encryption and authentication protocols, in order to protect their data from attackers. 

These are just a few of the common cybersecurity risks faced by organizations in the oil and gas industry – there are many more that need to be addressed in order to protect against malicious actors. By implementing the right security measures and developing a comprehensive security strategy, organizations can help to mitigate these risks and protect their data from attack. 

Common cybersecurity risks in the oil and gas industry

How to protect your oil and gas software from cyber attacks

Oil and gas companies cannot afford to neglect their cybersecurity needs in today’s increasingly digital world— doing so could have disastrous consequences. Investing in proactive protection is essential to safeguard against malicious actors looking to exploit vulnerable systems or access sensitive data. Developing oil and gas software requires a comprehensive security plan. Here are some steps you can take during the development process for greater protection against cyber attacks:

  • Undertake regular vulnerability assessment tests to identify and address any security loopholes.
  • Ensure all developers have access to the latest cybersecurity training and resources, as well as updated programming languages, so they’re aware of the most secure coding practices.
  • Incorporate components like encryption, authentication methods, secure authorization protocols, and other security measures into your software architecture.
  • Make sure your software is regularly tested by independent third-party vendors to ensure it meets industry standards and regulations.
  • Monitor user input fields in order to detect malicious code or fraudulent activities.
  • Monitor user accounts for any suspicious behavior and limit access to sensitive data by limiting user permissions. 

Another important step to consider is cloud migration. For example, you can use Azure Cloud services for security, as well as a range of other cloud-based solutions that provide enhanced protection against cyber attacks. This can be especially useful for legacy technologies that may not have been updated in some time.

By migrating to the cloud, you’re able to benefit from the advanced security measures provided by highly reputable vendors such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google while ensuring your oil and gas software remains up-to-date with today’s standards.

How to protect your oil and gas software from cyber attacks

Our expertise in oil and gas software development

At Blackthorn Vision, we are experts in creating sophisticated software solutions tailored to the oil and gas industry. We understand the importance of security measures being taken to ensure the safety of your equipment and personnel. To demonstrate our expertise in this field, let’s take a look at one of our recent case studies – Sensia.

We worked with Sensia to upgrade their web-based solution which allowed them to optimize surveillance and maintenance of oil & gas equipment while providing critical information about its condition and performance. We ensured that all security measures were taken into account during this process, giving Sensia peace of mind that their data was secure.

If you’re looking for reliable software solutions for monitoring oil & gas operations, contact us today for more information on how we can help. Check out our home page for more details.

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