Former Homeland Security Department Director Michael Chertoff told oil and gas industry executives gathered in Houston that it no longer takes an army to fight a war as the top threat their businesses face in the future is not from physical risks, but cyber attacks. Chertoff’s remarks focused on the increasing threat of cyber security in general and its potential impact on the critical infrastructure of energy companies specifically.
“Cyber attacks are the biggest threat facing America. Most companies have experienced some type of cyber security event whether they know it or not. No industry is immune, but energy companies are clearly in the cross hairs of these cyber criminals as more than 40 percent of all reported malicious cyber attacks in 2012 were directed at them,” Chertoff said during his remarks. “Specific point solutions have been implemented in most cases, but more needs to be done. We must develop a series of corrections to this complex problem across government and industry, taking a holistic approach that addresses policies, regulatory incentives, people, training and technology. Hopefully, it won’t take a cyber 9-11 for the industry to realize the magnitude of today’s cyber security threat.”
Chertoff addressed about 25 oil and gas industry executives, representing many of the industry’s leading companies, at an exclusive Executive Upstream Innovation and Technology Summit, which was held in conjunction with the IHS Forum in partnership with Honeywell. The twice-yearly IHS forum features in-depth sessions on macroeconomics, energy, chemicals and construction, among others.
Following Chertoff’s opening remarks, the senior executives held private discussions about the challenges of cyber security and industry best practices. Topics included cyber attacks, threat actors, attack vectors, insider threats, cyber impersonators, cyber espionage and approaches to improve security.
“Cyber security is a critical issue for nations, businesses and individuals,” said Darius Adamczyk, president of Honeywell Process Solutions, who hosted the business leaders. “This executive summit was an important step in furthering the dialogue among decision-makers from the global energy community. Cyber risks are constantly evolving, and we have to work together to find the right combination of solutions. It was an honor to have Mr. Chertoff attend this event and to hear directly from him about the state of cyber security.”
“Looking ahead at this critical issue, Honeywell is at the forefront of developing new technologies and advanced cyber security solutions to help defend against cyber attacks, preserving the availability, integrity and confidentiality of industrial control systems.”
Chertoff served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 until 2009 and is now chairman of the Chertoff Group, a security and risk management firm, providing high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues.
As Secretary of Homeland Security, Chertoff led a 218,000 person department with a budget of $50 billion. He developed and implemented border security and immigration policy, promulgated homeland security regulations, and spearheaded a national cyber security strategy. He also served on the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com. Honeywell Process Solutions is part of Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solutions group, a global leader in providing product and service solutions that improve efficiency and profitability, support regulatory compliance, and maintain safe, comfortable environments in homes, buildings and industry. For more information about Process Solutions, access www.honeywellprocess.com.
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