Editorial: OPEC, The G7 & Obama's Cyber Security Warning

Tim Haïdar

Oil prices took a slide after the conclusion of the 167th meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, last Friday.

OPEC decided that they would maintain their output levels at more than 31 million barrels per day and the markets are likely to experience further skittishness until a decision is made on June 30th over Tehran's nuclear programme.

As the nations that are pushing for a settlement with Iran meet for the 47th G7 Summit in the palatial surroundings of Schloss Elmau in Germany’s Wetterstein mountains, US President, Barack Obama set down a series of stark warnings.

Aside from those that concerned Russia’s power projection into Ukraine and the ongoing FIFA scandal, there was also an unambiguous warning to the global business sector on cyber security.

Speaking to the press corps at the summit, Obama stated that: "This problem is not going to go away. It is going to accelerate. And that means that we have to be as nimble, as aggressive, and as well-resourced as those who are trying to break into these systems."

In recent years, the oil and gas industry has been cited as one of the most under threat from cyber attack of any global business vertical. In a special report that debuts in this week’s newsletter, we uncover exactly how at risk our sector is from the scourge of "The Four Horsemen of the Cyberpocalypse": hacktivism, cyber crime, cyber espionage and cyber warfare.

Here are just a few of the alarming statistics that we uncovered during the course of our investigations:

  • An increase in reported cyber attacks of 200 per cent from 2013-2015
  • 60 per cent of oil and gas companies have no incident response plan in place to deal with a cyber attack
  • 92 per cent of IT professionals believe that cyber attacks present a major threat to the oil and gas industry, yet 27 per cent of companies still lack an in-house cyber security team

With the revenue generated by the oil and gas industry underpinning the economic fortitude of both developed and developing nations alike, the danger presented by a "when" not "if" disaster scenario is both tragically overlooked and woefully unprepared for….

Tim Haðdar
is the Editor In Chief at Oil & Gas IQ. Reach Him At Twitter Or OGIQ


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