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Cyber Security Solutions

Cyber Security Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry

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The Challenge

Offshore oil and gas assets rely on a complex network and data communications infrastructure to maintain operations, enabling a free flow of critical plant and process data between on and offshore systems and specialists. As with any complex system, it is easy for weaknesses to appear that can be exploited by others for personal gain, or can expose the systems to risk through inadvertent or unintentional change.

With the increasing publicity surrounding industrial cyber attacks, and the increasing reliance on distributed systems, many consider that there is a very real risk of cyber attack being directed towards Oil and Gas assets, both on and offshore.

Aquidata XL was approach by one of our customers to evaluate a number of technologies that can provide improved security around the replication of their fiscal metering data between their offshore control network and their onshore business systems. The objective of this exercise was to provide improved segregation of their offshore control network and their wider business network, denying the opportunity for remote cyber attacks from entering the offshore control network, while still allowing free flow of data from the control network outwards.

Our Solution

We worked with the global leader in industrial cybersecurity technology to tailor a solution around their innovative unidirectional security gateway for installation on our clients’ offshore asset. This solution represents an evolution of the traditional firewall, and uses a hardware based approach to allow selected data to pass across the control/enterprise network boundary while preventing any physical or logical connection to the control network from beyond the gateway.

This technology is widely used to protect national infrastructures in North America. Middle East, and Asia, but to the best of our knowledge this will be the first time it has been deployed to protect a North Sea production platform.

 

The Proof

The system is currently undergoing rigorous factory acceptance testing, and all indications are that the solution will meet our client’s expectations. The system will be installed for field testing later this year, and we’ll provide updates here as the field trials develop.

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