Concerns of Russian Cyberattacks to Norway's Oil & Gas Industry
Category: Critical Infrastructure Security | Industry: Oil & Gas | Level: Strategic | Source: The Record
Since the Russia and Ukraine war, Norway has emerged as the leading supplier of gas to Europe accounting for nearly 10% of gas exports. With such a critical position, criticisms have mounted over the country's slow response to securing its petroleum sector from Russian cyberattacks. Norway’s prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre, has recently acknowledged concerns. In a speech on Thursday, October 20th, 2022, Støre said the threat of a cyberattack attack is “a real and serious threat.” The recent arrest of seven Russians operating droves over major energy stations has also caused unease. The country's counterintelligence and cybersecurity agencies have increased their engagement in the sector with adding security personnel around major facilities. The country's response to securing the oil & gas sector has been heavily critiqued in the past with a 2018 study, by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, describing the risk in the industry as largely "neglected by politicians and the industry itself in Norway.” An author of the study, Lars Gjesvik shared in a statement with The Record, “A year after our report the Office of the Auditor General published a report critiquing the extent to which the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) detected security concerns, noting how the [government] did not follow-up whether the PSA ‘takes sufficient responsibility for cybersecurity’ [in the sector].” Gjesvik added, “There was obvious room for improvement in 2018, and there was obvious room for improvement at the start of this year, but some of the major gaps are being filled.” As Europe heads into the winter season any issues with its mounting energy crisis can be critical.