HOUSTON, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, today released its State of Cloud Security Bulletin on Information Security in the Energy Sector. The bulletin, based on a six-month study period of customer data, examines the rise of cyber attacks targeting the energy sector—an industry thought to be particularly at risk due to the highly confidential and proprietary information they possess, as well as the prevalence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and contractor access.
"The energy sector is a big part of the global economy and therefore has extremely high-stakes security risks compared to other industries," said Stephen Coty, director, security research with Alert Logic. "Daily survival of the population and businesses alike depend on the availability of energy resources, making energy companies a prime target for hackers. This Security Bulletin calls out the specific threats to energy companies and provides recommendations for fine tuning existing information security defenses."
The Security Bulletin found that, when compared to Alert Logic's overall customer set, the energy sector is at an elevated risk of brute force and malware/botnet attacks:
67 percent of energy companies experienced brute force attacks, versus 34% of entire customer set. Attackers look for opportunistic points of vulnerability in networks housing confidential business information. Breaches of geophysical data, in particular, are intended to damage or destroy the data used in energy resource exploration. Brute force attacks are also used to steal a company's intellectual property for the purpose of industrial espionage.
61 percent of energy companies experienced malware/botnet infiltration attacks, versus 13% of entire customer set. These attacks seek access to physical infrastructure systems that control pipelines and other key energy plant operations. Alert Logic found that technologies such as SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems are vulnerable to hacking, while the emerging business practices of BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOA (bring your own applications) in the workplace can be carriers of viruses and other malware.
"Unlike an attack on an e-Commerce site or SaaS application provider, a malware infiltration attack on an energy company could grow to catastrophic proportions if hackers were able to block or flood the oil and gas pipeline infrastructure," Coty said. "This industry doesn't see the typical web application attacks. It experiences a greater magnitude of security threats that could have global repercussions for years to come."
To help companies meet the specific security challenges of the energy sector, The Security Bulletin includes guidance for effectively defending against brute force attacks and malware/botnet threats. Recommendations include enhancing existing security strategy with multi-layer security practices, monitoring and defensive technologies to identify and stop cyber-attacks, as well as raising security awareness among employees.
A free download of the Alert Logic State of Cloud Security Bulletin: Information Security in the Energy Sector is available at www.alertlogic.com/csr.
Additional Resources Available:
Targeted Attacks and Opportunistic Hacks – Spring 2013 Infographic
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About Alert Logic
Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, provides solutions to secure the application and infrastructure stack. By integrating advanced security tools with 24×7 Security Operations Center expertise, customers can defend against security threats and address compliance mandates. By leveraging an "as-a-Service" delivery model, Alert Logic solutions include day-to-day management of security infrastructure, security experts translating complex data into actionable insight, and flexible deployment options to address customer security needs in any computing environment. Built from the ground up to address the unique challenges of public and private cloud environments, Alert Logic partners with over half of the largest cloud and hosting service providers to provide Security-as-a-Service solutions for business application deployments for over 2,300 enterprises. Alert Logic is based in Houston, Texas, and was founded in 2002. For more information, please visit www.alertlogic.com.
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