Bloomberg: cyber risk a “nightmare” for Gulf’s promising economies

Analysis suggests more than $1bn was lost by oil and gas firms last year due to attacks.

Regional oil and gas firms are increasingly targeted by hackers according to Bloomberg.
Regional oil and gas firms are increasingly targeted by hackers according to Bloomberg.

Analysis carried out by Bloomberg Intelligence has highlighted cyberattacks pose a significant threat to oil and gas companies’ supply chains, and in turn, could impact oil-based economies such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Bloomberg Intelligence analysis states that according to a Siemens’ report, the financial impact of cyberattacks on the Gulf energy industry in 2017 is estimated at more than $1 billion.

The analysis also mentions that an executive survey by the World Economic Forum found that cyberattacks top concerns for UAE businesses in 2018.

The Bloomberg analysis says that the UAE leads the way in technology investment, with Dubai launching a cyber-security strategy last year, focused on areas including enhancing awareness in public and private sectors, research and development, data privacy and business continuity.

The New York Times reported last week that an intended cyberattack on a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia, last August, was not only designed to impact on critical systems but also to cause an explosion which would have caused casualties. An error in the attackers’ coding prevented the disaster according to reports.

In May the region’s first Future Blockchain Summit will take place as business leaders evaluate enhancing and improving their technology and cyber security. The innovation was recently rolled out at the Fujairah Oil Terminal by S&P Global Platts.

Late last year a survey by Siemens and the Ponemon Institute revealed 50% of all cyberattacks are directed against hydrocarbon companies.

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