The Oil & Gas sector is investing aggressively in digital as the energy transition progresses and firms move to sustainable business models. That includes heavy investments in cybersecurity, an ongoing trend in an industry bent on protecting assets and reputations.
In a global survey of 255 industry professionals, including C-suite executives, functional leaders and engineers, cybersecurity emerged as companies’ top investment focus, and the technology driving the greatest impact on business performance. The survey was conducted in early 2019 but the results were only published this month.
Accenture asked respondents which digital technologies their organizations are investing in today. Cybersecurity was cited more than any other, by 61% of respondents. Only 12% offered the same answer in 2017.
A key driver behind the increased focus on cyber resilience by oil companies is “to protect their assets and reputations,” the report notes.
“As oil companies’ operations come under increasing threat, cyber resilience becomes more important to stakeholders, consumers and government,” said Rich Holsman, a managing director at Accenture who leads the digital practice in the company’s Resources operating group.
“Managing attacks isn’t just a matter of protecting reputation, share price and operations, but it’s part of a greater responsibility for national services and security. Upstream businesses must continue to invest thoughtfully and substantially in cybersecurity measures, as they often underestimate their exposure to such attacks, which are also increasing in technical complexity.”
Asked to name the technology driving the greatest impact on business performance, 16% of respondents again cited cybersecurity (up from 9% in 2017).