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The recent cyber event that shut down the largest pipeline operator in the US, Colonial Pipeline, is a perfect example of how hackers can, and will continue to, target oil and gas companies.

A recent article from the New York Times states that a confidential assessment prepared by the Energy and Homeland Security Departments discovered that the country would have only been able to afford another 3 to 5 days with the Colonial Pipeline shut down before buses and other mass transit would have to limit operations because of a lack of diesel fuel. The report findings also found that chemical factories and refinery operations would have had to shut down because there would be no way to distribute what they produced.

However, it’s not just the large operators that cyber criminals are targeting; it is the small business owners as well. Cyber criminals enjoy attacking smaller companies as they have identified these businesses to be easier to penetrate as they typically do not have the proper safety measures in place and invest less in cyber security.

Did you know…

  1. If you hold reservoir or exploration data, you have a cyber exposure
  2. If you have an email address or bank account information, you have a cyber exposure
  3. If you rely on any 3rd parties to operate your business, you have a cyber exposure

There is no question that cyber-attacks are on the rise and there are no signs of it slowing down.  According to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report, the number of social engineering attacks more than doubled since 2019, and increased more than 900% compared to 2018 levels.

We advise working with your risk management advisor to perform an assessment of your business’s potential liabilities to cyber-attacks and identify ways to mitigate your exposure.

About the Author

Garrett Campbell
Garrett Campbell
Garrett works closely with his clients to help control their total cost of risk through Safety and Risk Management programs. He provides guidance on Alternative Risk Financing Plans, Contractual Risk Transfer, and Loss Sensitive Programs. Garrett takes his wealth of industry knowledge and experience and applies it to developing a comprehensive insurance management strategy for his clients. Throughout Garrett’s work experience, his main business focus has been Risk Management and Insurance Consulting for Oil & Gas Companies, Nonprofit Organizations, and Religious Institutions.

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