Tripwire Study: Cyber Attackers Successfully Targeting Oil and Gas Industry

Portland, OR - 14 January 2016

Eighty-two percent of oil and gas IT professionals see significant increase in successful cyberattacks 

Tripwire, Inc., a leading global provider of advanced threat, security and compliance solutions, today announced the results of a study conducted by Dimensional Research on the cybersecurity challenges faced by organizations in the energy sector. The study was carried out in November 2015, and respondents included over 150 IT professionals in the energy, utilities, and oil and gas industries.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Eighty-two percent of oil and gas industry respondents said their organizations have seen an increase in successful cyberattacks over the past 12 months.
  • Fifty-three percent of oil and gas industry respondents said the rate of cyberattacks has increased between 50 and 100 percent over the past month.
  • Sixty-nine percent of oil and gas industry respondents said they were “not confident” their organizations were able to detect all cyberattacks.

“The increase in successful attacks should be deeply concerning,” said Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire. “Successful attacks could mean that attackers are able to breach a specific security control or that they have been able to get closer to sensitive data using phishing or malware scams that have been detected. It could also mean that attackers are launching more persistent, targeted attacks.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the energy sector faces more cyber attacks than any other industry. Additionally, the energy sector has been impacted by robust state-sponsored cyber-espionage campaigns, such as Trojan. Laziok and Energetic Bear, and these assaults could potentially damage physical infrastructure. While a lot of attention has been given to the cyber threats impacting the electric grid, the oil and gas industry has not received the same level of scrutiny.

Erlin continued, “In combination with the lack of confidence in detection capabilities these findings demonstrate that the oil and gas industry needs to increase investment in basic best practices to materially reduce risk. Unfortunately, these results indicate that things will probably get worse before they get better.”

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