However, it’s not enough to make an effort to adhere to known compliance rules and regulations, energy executives must also remain knowledgeable and up-to-date with new compliance and regulatory developments which may require attention and an actionable response down the road.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, “the Energy Sector is uniquely critical because it provides an ‘enabling function’ across all critical infrastructure sectors. More than 80 percent of the country's energy infrastructure is owned by the private sector, supplying fuels to the transportation industry, electricity to households and businesses, and other sources of energy that are integral to growth and production across the nation.”
Pressure for oil, gas, natural gas and emerging energy technologies to maintain security and compliance is uncompromising, and coming from all angles:
It is imperative that responsibilities related to managing regulatory compliance are properly delegated to the correct people, processes and technology within an organization. The severity of security threats and risks makes it clear that compliance within the energy sector must be treated as a continuous effort, rather than an occasional review or annual exercise.
Today, developments and advances in technology, particularly where operational devices are concerned, is increasing the accumulation of potential threats. The oil pipelines and power lines that supply the world’s energy could be seized at any time. The entire infrastructure’s supporting refineries, pipelines and gas and oil plants are now digital, and thus at a heightened risk of cyber attacks. Along with the increased risk for a security breach comes increased attempts to compromise any and all shareholders of the energy sector. If a breach were to occur, a number of consequences could ensue. Ultimately, oil and energy companies are at risk for the unauthorized control of invaluable resources at the hands of cyber hackers.
The energy sector’s increasing automation and reliance on Internet-connected communications, devices, and software to improve the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of operations significantly increases the sector’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Protecting high value data, proprietary processes and physical property is critical for the energy industry. How does an organization protect high value data from being accessed by only the people authorized to access the information for decision making?
CSS worked with the world’s leading supplier of technology, project management and information solutions in the oil and gas industry to help address such a problem. With almost $50B in revenue and 115K employees in 85 counties, their real-time technology services and solutions enables energy customers to translate acquired data into useful information for decision making. The challenge came with ensuring that the transmission of data from device sensors through its systems was made available to only those authorized to access it. CSS assisted this energy-focused technology organization with implementing tools to enable secure identity management between devices and systems.