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API: Oil & gas industry needs to work together to tackle cyber attacks

November 19, 2013
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U.S. oil and gas companies are a primary target for cyber attacks and they still need to work hard to improve their awareness and preparedness to avert hackers' attacks and respond adequately, industry experts said at the Cyber Security Conference & Expo in Houston, organized by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

One of the main problems is the fact that the industry is not sharing information about attacks and possible ways to tackle them. Many companies are worried that if they share the information they have, it could be leaked and put their business at risk, experts commented.

Official figures reveal that the oil and gas industry is the second most frequently targeted industry and hackers often steal intellectual property and financial information that puts a business under threat. While companies may fear they might lose valuable information, they also feel reluctant to share data with other companies, thus shutting out opportunities to fight cyber attacks more effectively.

RELATED: US Energy Department launches project to protect oil & gas industry from cyber attacks

Facilitating sharing and cooperation was the main purpose behind holding the conference, API said. As long as every company works in isolation, the chances of curbing hackers' attacks will be extremely slim. That is why oil and gas companies need to join forces, the organization pointed out.

In a bid to tackle the problem of confidentiality, the oil industry has been working on creating a group to assist companies in sharing information, said David Frazier, director of information technology for oilfield services company Halliburton, quoted by FuelFix.

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