Complex Made Simple

REVEALED: The one industry that’s key target for cyber criminals

Cyber criminals and ransomware developers are after the money pit. And where else to point their e-guns but at the cash-rich oil and gas (O&G) industry?

It’s bewildering to know that ransomware is a paid-subscription available as a software, just like weapons are for criminals at a retail gun shop.

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) – taking place from November 13 to 16 – is tackling this very issue, following international cyber attacks on the industry in H1 2017.

Last June, multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Labs identified NotPety as having eyed 25 per cent of its viral attack on O&G industries, the rest being more cash cows, finance and manufacturing.

Christopher Hudson, President of Global Energy at dmg events, and ADNOC organiser, said: “Cybercrime is a serious problem for any business, but recent incidents raise concerns that O&G companies will be high-priority targets for attacks.”

e-warfare growing

According to ADIPEC, the Middle East cyber security market will grow from $11.38 billion (AED41.7bn)  in 2017 to $22.14bn (AED81.2bn) by 2022.

“Cybercrime is a threat to the global economy,” said ADIPEC speaker Sandip Patel, QC, a UK-based lawyer and expert on prosecuting cybercrimes cases.

“Some estimates cost it at more than $445bn, but the true cost is far greater as many countries do not report on this.”

Targets expanding

Accountancy firm Deloitte, has been the latest target of a cyber attack.

This was a sophisticated hack that Deloitte admitted might have compromised the confidential emails and plans of some of its blue-chip clients.

It’s the second recent major cyber attack targeting major enterprises.

Earlier in September, over 143 million customer accounts at Equifax, the US credit monitoring agency, had either been accessed or tampered.