Petroleum Ministry Seeks Protection Of Oil Assets From Cyber Attack

The federal government has been urged to develop policies and legislation that will help protect the oil and gas industry’s vital data against cyber-attack.

The Technical Assistant (Gas Business & Policy) to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, made the call on during a panel session at the ongoing 2020 edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) holding in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

“Government need to develop policies and legislature to address the threat to data. Use of information technology and operational technology exposes the industry and renders it vulnerable to cyber-attack” Derefaka told the audience.

According to him, sharing of intelligence among operators in the industry and simulating situations before cyber-attacks can help reduce vulnerability.

Lending his voice to the issue, Amusa Babatunde Adeyemi, Senior Account Representative, Huawei Enterprise Energy Business said that legislation is important in addressing the issues of data vulnerability in the industry adding that the ability of the different technologies used in different operations in the industry to interoperate with one another will greatly reduce exposure and vulnerability.

Earlier, Dan David, Managing Director, CyberSocAfrica, told delegates at the summit that the use of technology, despite its benefits, also exposes the oil and gas industry to threats.

“The oil and gas industry is marching towards digitalization and adoption of new technologies. The use of new technology is also to check the attack of cyber security issues in order to make the industry more secure and safe,” David said.

The session also featured key industry players such as Alex Nachi Tarka, President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, Gbenga Onadeko, Senior Vice President, USA and Carribeans, Welltec, Richard G. P. Llewellyn, Managing Director, Benchmark Geophysical Consulting Limited, as well as Omar Farouk Ibhahim , Secretary General, Africa Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO).

The session highlighted the impact of technology, policy, social, and changes in business model on the demand and supply sides of the oil and gas business. It also suggested plausible scenarios that policy makers can adopt as a response to various challenges in managing emissions and investing in infrastructure.

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