By Dr. Clare Maher
iEnergy Editor in Chief, Halliburton Landmark
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE
You cannot work in this industry and not be aware of the need for the oil and gas industry to embark on its own digital transformation. This is a journey that many businesses from other sectors have embarked upon some time ago, but the oil and gas industry has been much slower to dip its toe in the water.
Whilst digitization (converting data into a digital format) and digitalization (use of digital technologies) have been underway in our industry over the last few decades, we are still a significant way off from realising full automation (e.g. the autonomous oilfield) and in doing so maximising the economic value of our assets. For this to be realised a complete digital transformation is required.
The advantages of undergoing a digital transformation are fairly self-evident; there are huge efficiencies to be made through the successful management of big data, the implementation of automation and the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into our work practices. Then why wouldn’t you? The answer is that whilst the advantages are clear, the successful implementation of a digital transformation strategy is complex, and as a risk adverse industry we remain incredibly cautious.
The oil and gas industry generates a vast amount of data of which the experts estimate our industry uses less than 2 percent to create value. The remaining ‘Dark Data’ is left to collect dust hidden from view, and is at risk of cyberattacks. Such attacks targeting the oil and gas industry are not unheard of and likely to grow with the use of emerging technologies as part of our digital transformation. Ironically, the same technologies will also help us mitigate the cybersecurity risks.
CYBERSECURITY: A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Information security is something that has been understood for some time, but with the advent of the internet and the resulting connectivity the task of protecting this information and data has become increasingly challenging. Modern day business demands the free flow of information and data and the breaking down of corporate silos. Thus, resisting intentional and unintentional threats by building walls is no longer enough. A proactive approach is required wherein we use the big data itself to help generate big security.
In a recent webinar, Dr Satyam Priyadarshy, Technology Fellow and chief data scientist at Halliburton, put forward his opinions on the importance of digital transformation for our industry and the role that big data has to play, not only in the transformation but also in providing the necessary security to protect our organization’s assets. Dr. Priyadarshy spoke of the current state of cybersecurity and how big data when used in conjunction with predictive analytics can actually facilitate better data governance and be a driving force in making significant steps forward in the world of big security. This proactive and holistic approach not only resists threats, but it also learns from and responds to threats and in doing so mitigates risks.
Our successful digital transformation and our pursuit of the autonomous oilfield necessitate the need to move from a defensive position when it comes to cybersecurity, to a proactive approach. This effort can be supported by leveraging big data analytics and using it against the very threat that seeks to corrupt it.
Watch Dr. Priyadarshy’s webinar on "Big Data Means Big Security" today to learn more how big data can be a driving force in both better data governance and cybersecurity!