Blockchain is fast becoming a standard for computer security in the oil industry

By DUNCAN GREATWOOD, CEO, Xage Security on 9/4/2018

PALO ALTO – While cyber security threats to the oil and gas industry have grown exponentially, various strategies have been deployed to safeguard companies' computers and control systems. A new technology in particular, blockchain, has emerged as a highly innovative and effective solution. Let's see how the blockchain is redefining the IT security of the oil field.

Increasing awareness of risk

The ever-increasing assault of security threats has led to a major change in executive thinking, with the risk of cybersecurity now recognized as a real and significant problem, not only a periodic inconvenience. Awareness of cybernetic risk has grown in a broad spectrum of companies globally.

The awareness of the immediacy and gravity of IT risks is closely linked to the digitization of the oil field. Digitization has redesigned the industry as companies have recognized the huge benefits of automation and remote work, making operations safer, cheaper and more realistic. All these advantages, however, require sophisticated security platforms with the ability to protect interconnected devices and automated industrial control systems (19659003). Design Protection

Designed as a distributed system, blockchain provides complex services in a secure manner, with fabric application capabilities directly in distributed oil facilities and equipment. By allowing different equipment and vendors to work together functioning as an electronic communication fabric for different systems, the blockchain is decentralized as the reservoir itself. By providing protection on the whole industrial side, from edge to center or from center to edge and vice versa, blockchain is a multifaceted and fundamental technology on which a company can build its own identity and access management in the field, remote access system , registration and transient device control and protection ICS.

The key to blockchain technology is its consensus system. When a hacker attempts to sneak into a system, the different nodes – or computers – inside the blockchain "vote" whether or not to allow the requested operation. Policies can be established and applied by the blockchain, allowing nodes to automatically determine authorized and unauthorized activities.

Even if some nodes are compromised, the vote warns the system that the nodes have become rogue, allowing the blockchain to expel compromised nodes and self-heal. Even if one node is destroyed, the others collect the game with minimal interruptions. Moreover, unlike traditional security systems, the more nodes are distributed, the stronger the system becomes. With the only point of error eliminated and a multitude of nodes forming a consensus, more difficult (and cost-prohibitive) becomes for a hacker to compromise enough nodes simultaneously to overwhelm the system.

Benefits Blockchain

Employing a self-regenerating, self-replicating and highly redundant anti-tampering anti-tamper protection system provides the oil and gas industry with many unique advantages. Since blockchain is not limited by, but rather by the benefits of scale, companies that use blockchain, from small operators with only 500 wells, to mid-size independents, to larger companies looking for customized configurations, can be assured of have the flexibility to operate

In addition to removing the main risks or vulnerabilities, such as a hacker stealing a gateway and modifying it or piggybacking it on an update to gain access to the system, unprecedented levels of connectivity that blockchain between people, devices and applications also allows new levels of insight into field processes, providing the basis for future innovations, such as next generation, multi-party guided production optimization systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI) .

Perspectives

With more and more operators in the oil industry putting the machines, instead of the personnel responsible for production, it is essential to ensure that these highly connected and digitized systems are adequately protected. With the blockchain which solves the vital problems of cybersecurity, such as remote access, role-based access control, password rotation and fingerprints of industrial control systems (ICS), there is no It's no wonder the blockchain is becoming the new standard for protecting the oil and gas industry.


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