Energy sector in top 5 for malware vulnerability
Manama, June 9, 2014
The global energy sector is one of the top five most at-risk industries for malware, according to Cisco report.
As the Internet of Everything connects more people, processes, data, and things to networks, the energy, oil, and gas sector is facing unprecedented benefits in using technology to connect global operations, drive efficiency, automate dangerous tasks, and manage complex supply chains.
The 2014 Cisco Annual Security Report pointed out that as connectivity increases, the energy sector faces a malware encounter rate of more than 400 per cent, or more than 300 per cent higher at risk than the median industry.
Global security threats reached their highest-ever level in 2013, it said.
Tarek Ghoul, general manager, Cisco Gulf, Levant and Pakistan, said: “The Middle East’s energy sector is rapidly adopting smart devices and cloud computing to enhance business, but this is also creating a larger landscape for cybersecurity threats. Malware can cripple an energy company’s IT infrastructure and halt business operations, and potentially disrupt the world’s energy supplies.”
Global demand for energy is projected to increase by 41 per cent by 2035, according to BP’s Energy Outlook 2035.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq are seeing strong oil demand growth, according to Opec. The Middle East is also set to post strong growth in natural gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Meanwhile, the MEA’s smart devices will grow from 133 million in 2013 to 598 million in 2018, according to Cisco. The region is set to post the world’s strongest cloud traffic growth, increasing from 16 exabytes in 2012 to 157 exabytes in 2017.
To mitigate growing cybersecurity threats, Cisco is set to expand its industry-leading advanced malware protection (AMP) and data centre solutions.
“Cisco has extensive experience in providing the connectivity platform for the energy sector’s operators and suppliers to improve planning and safety, support ICT deployment, and enhance downtime,” said Ghoul.
“Delivering vital cybersecurity solutions to the energy sector enhances our support to ensure that global energy supplies remain in safe hands,” he said.
AMP and data centre security solutions effectively combat ‘zero-day’ attacks on previously unknown vulnerabilities, stealth hacking attempts called ‘advanced persistent threats,’ and ‘watering hole’ attacks that infect websites that target employees visit.
“With advanced threats infiltrating the energy sector’s environments at the endpoint, in the data centre, and through the cloud, Cisco’s mission is to provide solutions that move beyond point-in-time to an anytime, all-the-time threat-centric security model that works continuously across the extended network and the full attack continuum,” added Ghoul.
Cisco is also enhancing its ASA firewall family for software-defined networking and application centric infrastructure, and its secure data centre Cisco validated design. - TradeArabia News Service