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Oil industry 'must take a streamlined approach to security'

ABU DHABI, September 19, 2016

Organisations in the oil and gas industry must adapt to an increasingly interconnected energy landscape by taking a streamlined and co-ordinated approach to security, according to international experts.  

The promise of emerging technology brings with it a growing concern of data and infrastructure protection within the industry, which has proven to be a persistent challenge that needs to be immediately addressed in the region and across the world, they stated.

The Middle East’s burgeoning security market is forecast to be worth $34 billion by 2020, with more than 50 per cent being spent on government, energy, and critical infrastructure alone, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.

Meanwhile, figures from MarketsandMarkets show that the overall critical infrastructure protection market in the Middle East will be worth $13.07 billion over the next two years.

In support of regional and global efforts to protect the industry from threats posed by compromised information technology and today’s rapidly changing global environment, the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC 2016) will be launching its debut edition of ‘Security in Energy’.

The annual four-day event will take place from November 7 to 10 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The programme, which is supported by the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA), will feature a dedicated exhibition and conference, providing valuable insights on the growing need for worldwide industry security across the energy landscape.

“Global advances in technology have allowed us to connect with others in a way we never have before. In the energy sector, it has propelled stakeholder collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and information, enabling real-time interaction between experts, professionals, and those working on the field,” remarked Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the director general of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).  

"However, with greater interconnectivity comes greater challenges within information security, making it crucial that we are always one step ahead when it comes to protecting sensitive data," stated Al Mansoori.

"This means organisations need to develop a consolidated, multi-layered strategy for safeguarding critical industry information," he noted.

The inaugural ‘Security in Energy’ exhibition and conference at Adipec will address those very concerns, inviting the best and brightest minds under one roof to discuss how the industry can shield itself from the very real threats posed by information technology,” stated Al Mansoori.

Set to be the annual meeting platform for key regional and international stakeholders engaged in ensuring the safety of the industry, ‘Security in Energy’ will address both the physical and virtual threats to critical infrastructure.

The conference agenda includes a keynote presentation by British army officer and former Nato deputy supreme allied commander for Europe, General Sir Richard Shirreff.

Conference speakers will also include senior-level representation from industry leading companies, to include the TRA, Saudi Aramco, and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

Cyber threats and attacks against the oil and gas industry in different parts of the world are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated targeting both IT and OT infrastructures.

US-based ABIresearch forecasts global cybersecurity spending on oil and gas critical infrastructure to reach $1.87 billion by 2018.

“In 2016, there is an urgency for nations to adopt national integrated cyber/physical security frameworks to pre-empt the growing external threats that are now constantly exploring vulnerabilities in energy facilities across the supply chain,” remarked Dr Sally Leivesley, the managing director of UK-based risk management firm Newrisk Limited.
“Security in Energy at Adipec 2016 is an essential part of the region’s strategy to mitigate the significant risks associated with these threats by delivering layered solutions for innovative security frameworks, with lectures on pre-emptive physical and cyber solutions, cyber target tracking, real-time intelligence, new technology, and practical assurance and exercising procedures.”
“Today, we are witnessing the digitisation of the oil and gas industry, characterised by the increased application of information technology,” said Christopher Hudson, the president of dmg events, Global Energy.

“Maintaining the protection and integrity of vital assets in today’s dynamic and increasingly globalised business environment is crucial for sustainable progress in the energy sector. ‘Security in Energy’ at Adipec 2016 will offer innovative solutions that organisations can deploy for effective critical infrastructure protection,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | oil industry | Security | adipec |

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