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Hussain Altayeb

Zero Trust concept ‘essential for oil and gas sector’

MANAMA, July 3, 2022

Zero Trust concept, a strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an organisation by eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of digital interaction, is essential for the oil and gas sector. 
 
“Rooted in the principle of ‘never trust, always verify’, Zero Trust is designed to protect modern environments and enable digital transformation by using strong authentication methods, leveraging network segmentation, and preventing lateral movement, said Hussain Altayeb, Lead, Cyber Security and Governance, Tatweer Petroleum.
 
Cybersecurity deployment is highly essential in the oil and gas sector, given the strategic, economic, and developmental importance of this sector, as well as the need to safeguard its sustainability and to preserve the interests of producers and consumers, he said during his participation in ‘Zero Trust Security – Always Verify’ Forum, held by NGN International, a full-fledged systems integrator and Managed Security Service Provider based in Bahrain. 
 
Awareness of cyber security
The forum was a part of the ‘NGN Majlis’’ efforts to enhance awareness of cyber security amongst Bahraini institutions and individuals.
 
"With the oil and gas industry moving towards greater digitisation, more efficient cybersecurity technologies are needed to minimise the risk of sensitive data piracy, enable safety remote operations, and protect business-critical data," Altayeb said.
 
“The oil and gas industry is no stranger to both covert and overt cyber-attacks. While undergoing digital transformation and adapting to an increasingly remote work culture, this critical infrastructure sector is frequently targeted for geopolitical purposes and financial gain by cybercriminals, company insiders, and nation-states. That’s why implementing Zero Trust concept is crucial to ensure the safety of this essential sector,” Altayeb added.
 
Implementing physically
Altayeb also affirmed that Zero Trust concept in the oil and gas sector should be implemented physically, as a physical perimeter breach, whether in an oil rig or a corporate office location, can have a disastrous impact. It would lead to perpetrators gaining direct access to critical systems and areas within the location. 
 
To avoid this, access to a user should be restricted based on the access rights of the user’s group. For example, visitors have limited access to common areas, while the IT staff needs access to all server rooms, and so on.
 
“As well as protecting data, what is at stake here is preventing any accident with the operation technology system because the absence of any controls in this sensitive sector could result in a major disaster or the destruction of the environment, affecting the reputation and image of the entire country. Security of that sector also ensures services related to aircraft movement, or securing the citizens' need for gasoline, for example, will be unaffected,” Altayeb concluded.-- TradeArabia News Service
 



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