Vulnerability of oil and gas infrastructure drives security investments
Security of critical facilities remains the topmost priority for the global oil and gas industry. Escalating demand for oil and gas, the construction of new facilities, and physical and cyber threats to these installations have led to growth in the oil and gas infrastructure security market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $18.31 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $31.27 billion in 2021.
The vulnerability of oil and gas infrastructures to various threats – both physical as well as cyber – is a matter of great concern for their operators. This is causing them to invest heavily in security.
“Global oil and gas companies are investing capital in new infrastructure projects, driving the need for security solutions at these facilities,” noted Frost & Sullivan Aerospace, Defence & Security Senior Research Analyst Anshul Sharma. “With increasing awareness of threats, companies are adopting a security-risk management approach and implementing risk assessment of their facilities to ensure security Return on Investment (ROI).”
There is a growing preference for total solutions with flexible integration of individual security systems like access control, video surveillance and intrusion-detection on one platform. Heavy investments in cyber security are also projected due to various attacks on energy facilities in the past five years.
“The threats may vary from information theft to a terrorist attack, but the economic impact and financial damage in case of an attack will be much more significant,” explained Sharma. “It would also depend on the motive of the attacker. For example, a cyber attack to remotely control a SCADA system can have more serious consequences than a cyber attack to steal information.”
The cost of advanced security technologies, the lack of resources for managing security, compliance and operations, and low spending on cyber security threaten market prospects.
“Suppliers of security systems should aim at designing an integrated security solution that proactively identifies, assesses and mitigates risks and threats originating from within the facility as well as from well beyond it,” advised Sharma. “On their part, oil and gas companies and operators of critical oil and gas facilities need to do a threat and risk assessment of their facility to ensure there is no over spending or under spending on security-related matters.”