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Old IT systems pose risk to oil firms

Dubai, March 4, 2014

The security risks that oil and gas companies face due to outdated ICT infrastructure was highlighted at a summit held in Dubai recently.

Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, connected with industry energy leaders at the IDC’s CIO Summit 2014, where it outlined the importance of having a reliable, robust and secure network to fend off cyber-attacks and respond quickly to a potential crisis.

It pointed out that by investing in the right technology, oil and gas companies can protect their oil pipelines, rigs and plants against sabotage, illegal tapping and cyber-attacks.

The Middle Eastern energy sector needs to increase its adoption of digital oilfield and intelligent pipeline technology, it said in a statement.

Investment in this level of ICT allows oil companies to better manage and visualise data, establish a communications infrastructure that links their upstream, midstream and downstream activities together building a unified system that can detect and isolate faults or attacks at all stages, it said.  

Joe So, vice president of sales, Enterprise Business, Huawei Middle East, said: “Technology has the ability to replace the role of human site inspectors who risk their lives working in extremely hazardous conditions. Not only is oil exploration becoming more competitive with theft of sensitive data a recurring threat, but oil projects usually take place in hazardous terrains and parts of the world that sometimes experience political instability.

“Oil companies need to ensure they have a secure and reliable infrastructure, which allows for the use of wireless technology, to deal with the deluge of data travelling from offshore to onshore sites. By having a unified ICT system, operators will be able to intelligently and automatically capture key performance refinery and pipeline data without the needs for engineers to risk spending time in the field.”

Huawei offers specific ICT solutions tailored to the oil and gas sector ranging from wireless technology, emergency command centre (ECC) solutions, CCTV and unified tele-presence services.

The ECC solutions allow oil and gas companies to monitor their oil delivery fleets and ensure their cargo is safe. Its CCTV systems ensure workforce safety and the protection of assets by preventing intrusions, terrorism, thefts and data leakage.

“Rather than quickly buying solutions off the shelf, oil and gas companies need to look at customising their solutions based on their individual requirements so that their network can respond to the sensitivity of its business and priorities,” said So.

He also outlined some of the current trends that are being implemented in the oil and gas sector, which are helping to reduce risk and increase profitability. It includes the deployment of flexible and secure mobile video conferencing solutions. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Huawei | Security | ICT | Summit | Risk |

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