Imagine a bunch of hackers plotting to destroy a large oil production facility. As they finish their code, they become increasingly giddy about the havoc they’re about to unleash. From here, it’s point, click, attack. The facility is in flames, lives are lost, and the price of crude jumps manifold.
No, this isn’t a scene out of a bad sci-fi flick; it’s the new reality of cyber attacks. BBC reported Shell saying at a conference today that the oil giant is seeing more and more cyber attacks on its mission-critical systems. Since computers control nearly all the world’s energy production and distribution, the consequences of large-scale cyber attacks can be monumental—and even fatal.
“If anybody gets into the area where you can control opening and closing of valves, or release valves, you can imagine what happens. It will cost lives and it will cost production, it will cost money, cause fires and cause loss of containment, [and] environmental damage huge, huge damage,” said Ludolf Luehmann, a Shell IT manager.
Industrial businesses like Shell are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks as they rely on computers to handle their most mission-critical processes.
We believe the magnitude of cyber threats faced by industrial businesses today requires the kind of solution that operates in real time and can handle the volume and velocity of events. This solution must do five things:
- Detect relevant patterns and connect the dots between the tsunami of big data and events;
- Provide powerful analytic capabilities so that people can immediately interpret the threat that is happening and understand all the implications;
- Automatically initiate corrective action based on recognized patterns, with the flexibility to modify rules on the fly if needed;
- Scale elastically on-premise and in the cloud;
- Provide a natural environment for collaboration, one that marries systems and people into a single unified desktop.
Of course, this is a very high level solution checklist to a very complex problem. We encourage you to explore our resources to learn more about heading off cyber security threats.