The gas industry is accelerating adoption of digitalization and data analytics
Greater connectivity can change and increase cyber vulnerabilities of some gas networks
Managing cyber threats to operational technology requires domain knowledge beyond general IT security
A DNV GL guideline helps operators tailor IEC cyber security standards to gas networks
The spread of digital technologies in the oil and gas industry is generating exciting new opportunities to improve performance, profitability and sustainability, but brings new safety and security challenges in operations, including gas networks.
Gas transmission system operators are looking at artificial intelligence, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine learning and augmented reality to see how they may improve operational efficiency and safety, for example. Some are already integrating digital technologies into more sophisticated data gathering, analysis and visualization to maintain, repair and operate gas networks.
DNV GL’s 2018 Industry Outlook survey found nearly half (43%) of more than 800 senior oil and gas professionals globally expect their organizations to increase spending on cyber security this year.1 Digitalization (75%) and cyber security (68%) are clear investment intentions over the next five years.
Greater connectivity impacts on cyber vulnerabilities
Greater connectivity between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), and the rise of the IIoT, can increase and even change the vulnerabilities of oil and gas assets to cyber attack.
Cyber security breaches can lead to lost production; raised health, safety and environmental risk; costly damages claims; breach of insurance conditions; negative reputational impacts; and loss of licence to operate.
“The industry is guarded about the frequency and impact of such breaches, but we are certainly seeing cyber security move up the agenda for pipeline owners, operators, industry associations, and for governments and their agencies,” said Petter Myrvang, information risk manager, DNV GL - Digital Solutions. “Looked at in more detail, the risk arises as critical OT network segments that were once isolated are now being connected to IT networks.”