KPMG warns of the seriousness of cyber threats to the energy and natural resources sector

The "Cyber ​​Defense in the Industrial Sector" report, issued by KPMG Professional Consulting in Saudi Arabia, in October 2021, warned of the danger of the continuous increase in cyber threats in the world, calling on organizations to take the necessary measures and prepare in a better way to confront evolving threats.

The report recommended analyzing and evaluating the risks associated with procedures and operations (PHA) and using it as a tool to deal with organizations and facilities in the industrial sector, noting cybersecurity gaps and the need to prepare to confront them in the energy and natural resources sector.

The KPMG report dealt in detail with: the evolution of the area of ​​security threats, cyber resilience and its importance compared to cyber security, the methodology for analyzing and evaluating risks associated with procedures and processes, the expansion of industrial automation, and the results of analysis and evaluation in addition to its benefits, with a case study where the analysis and evaluation of risks associated with procedures was applied and cyber operations.

The report emphasized that threats related to the cyber security of industrial systems have developed rapidly over the past year, pointing to a group of factors that have led to an increase in these threats, including shifting engineering activities and maintenance operations to remote work, in addition to production lines that are still working remotely. Although an integrated and sound digital transformation is not complete.

The report continued: “There has become a continuous increase in cyber threats in the world, and an example of this is the exposure of the Colonial Pipeline Company, the largest pipeline operator in the United States, to the threat earlier this year;

Which led to the closure of oil pipelines and the interruption of its access to consumers in large areas of the United States;

This directly affected supply chains.”

In its report, KPMG indicated that organizations and facilities are not yet ready to confront, despite the increasing threats and public pressure, as the cybersecurity sector includes countless services, many of which are relatively new and not yet tested, which causes confusion for facilities and delays their decisions. , and ultimately keep it unprotected.

The report indicated that despite numerous studies indicating that business and government leaders are aware of cyber threats in the industrial sector, they are not ready to confront them either, noting that the threat to companies in the industrial sector is global, but due to geopolitical factors and the concentration of industrial activity in some countries;

It is more intense in it, and not in the others.

The report touched on the flexible and diverse methods of cybercriminals, which make it easier for them to adapt in different circumstances and find potential victims of their cyber attacks more accurately, for example, they use legal documents that help to better understand and identify the targeted victims, before sending malware to them, or they buy and sell direct access. to different networks; This makes it easier for them to carry out more complex and advanced operations so that the ransomware is easy to send later.

In its report, KPMG stressed the importance and benefits of analyzing and evaluating risks associated with procedures and operations, noting the many benefits of analyzing and evaluating risks associated with cyber procedures and operations, the most important of which are;

Assessing the security of the system, when the methodology of analyzing and evaluating the risks associated with cyber actions and operations is applied in the correct manner;

It instills good practices throughout the system that will prevent most cyber attacks, noting that its use in the organization's broader business practices, documents the applicable methodology and helps create integrated information security policies, procedures, standards and controls.

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