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Energy Industry Shares Cyber Security Best Practices

The energy industry is one of the industries that’s most likely to suffer a cyber attack, according to a recent survey. A conference here in Houston is focusing on cyber security.

The 10th annual American Petroleum Institute Cybersecurity Conference & Expo is looking at the latest technologies to counter cyber espionage. Competitors in the oil and gas industry are sharing best practices.

“In the oil and gas industry, there’s a recognition that security is not a competitive advantage. So all the oil and gas companies collaborate on what their security posture looks like,” said David Zacher, with Deloitte.

The dangers are not just from intellectual property hacks. There’s a range of “bad actors.”

“The college student trying to understand how to do some type of hacking, all the way up to a state-sponsored, where that’s somebody’s real job — that’s all they do. But they’re not the only ones. You also have organized crime, putting things on there that will destroy systems and then asking you for money to de-encrypt those environments,” he said.

Zacher says cyber threats are not only in the business world. Most things are computer-controlled these days, from the power grid to stop lights.

“Then most of those technologies were developed years ago with not much thought around security,” he said.

Zacher says cyber security is most effective when there are multiple lines of security, so if someone gets past one gate, there are others to thwart the attack.

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