Canadian Underwriter

VirtualArmour expands penetration into energy sector cyber protection

July 10, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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VirtualArmour International Inc. has partnered with a global architectural design and engineering firm that services the energy industry to design new security infrastructure in light of the sector increasingly becoming a target for cyber attacks.

Under the terms of a new contact between the two companies, VirtualArmour will “design, build and implement new security infrastructure to support the client’s sustained growth. This will involve the provision of hardware as well as professional services,” the provider of cyber security and managed services reported Friday in a statement datelined Vancouver, B.C.

Related: U.S. energy sector sees dramatic rise in successful cyberattacks: study

“What makes cyber threats especially dangerous within any industry, but particularly within energy, is that they can go undetected until real damage has taken place, from stolen data to power outages, destruction of physical assets and major financial loss,” notes Chad Schamberger, vice president of engineering services at VirtualArmour.

“We’re pleased to be further widening our footprint in the energy sector and believe it will be one we see increasing business from in both the short and long term,” adds Nick Dinsmoor, the company’s vice president of strategy.

As a result of technology playing an increasingly significant role within energy sector operations across the board, it has become a prime target for cyber attacks, notes a statement from VirtualArmour.

“These are being directed not only towards those directly in energy production and distribution, but also towards industry partners that may not employ the same robust security protocols required to remain secure,” the statement adds.

Related: Cybersecurity company discovers malware designed to perform attacks on power supply infrastructure

A survey of more than 150 IT professionals in the energy, utilities and oil and gas industries last year by Portland-based Tripwire, Inc. found more than three-quarters of respondents in the U.S. energy sector reported an increase in successful cyber attacks over the past year.

“It’s tempting to believe that this increase in attacks is horizontal across industries, but the data shows that energy organizations are experiencing a disproportionately large increase when compared to other industries,” Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire, said at the time.

Related: Increased cyber espionage, data integrity attacks part of global threat landscape in 2017: Stroz Friedberg

And this part January, a report released by Stroz Friedberg, an Aon company, included a prediction regarding the energy sector.

“In 2017, organizations will prioritize protecting themselves against data integrity and sabotage after an incident in which criminals successfully manipulate information, such as company earnings, news announcements, voter information or the operational controls of a system such as energy grids,” the report noted.