Hackers Target Energy Companies

Wild West Report

Hackers Target Energy Companies

Hackers Target Energy Companies

Hackers Target Energy Companies

Hackers target sectors which have weak cybersecurity shields. Since enterprises like banks, insurance companies, healthcare are fully aware of how much damage a cyber breach can cause. They have learned some valuable lessons over the past few years. These institutions know how important cyber security is to protect their critical infrastructure. Hackers are also fully aware of which industries, are really paying attention to the threat and which are not, that’s why hackers target energy companies.

Homeland Security, which is responsible for protecting the nation from cybercrime, received reports of some 350 incidents at energy companies from 2011 to 2015, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle has found. Over that period, the agency found nearly 900 security flaws within U.S. energy companies, more than any other industry.

Energy companies have large operational components, facilities, equipment, vehicles, security, and a diversity of connected devices. They hire IT, staff, mostly to keep their network of the computers up and running with little or no emphasis on operational technologies security. This approach was fine a decade ago, but today connected devices are part of the attack surface, an easy target for cybercriminals and are why hackers target energy companies.

Why Hackers Target Energy Companies? Because many energy companies lack the technology and personnel to detect hackers. Equipment was designed decades ago without security features, and efforts over the years to link computer networks to devices that monitor pressure or control valves have exposed operations to online threats.

With the energy sector adopting IoT to improve their processes, their first goal should to be finding the right cyber security solution to protect their critical infrastructure. The Cyber Threats for Energy companies is quickly becoming a stark reality. Hackers don’t only target the company’s field equipment, operational technologies or other but the connected devices of subcontractors and transportation. In June 2017, the NotPetya computer virus effected many companies around the world including the Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft.

Havex virus is the latest virus developed to infect industrial control system and once its inside, it has complete capability to halt operations. It no longer matters how secure the physical barrier of your infrastructure is, if you haven’t secured your IIoT, you are vulnerable to cybercrime and that’s why hackers target energy companies.

The dilemma is when it comes to defense against modern cyber attacks, the traditional approach like firewalls, IDPS may increase security on the IT network. But this approach has little effect, when hackers target connected devices. Using OT as the entry point a hacker can introduce malware or ransomware which can encrypt all your company data. So, there is a need to change the strategy to secure your company against cyber-attacks.

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