The oil and gas industry is getting more advanced quickly. New technologies and digital solutions are being used to make the industry more efficient and safer. This has left many organizations with a 3-tier architecture: IT networks manage the office data and communication systems; operational technology (OT) networks handle the process control and automation systems; and the Internet of Things connects the two together. As with any system, though, these networks need to stay safe and reliable. This means that they need to be scanned regularly to find and fix any problems that might be there.   

Companies in the oil and gas industry may find it hard to keep track of all the networks and devices they need to manage if they use traditional “passive” scanning solutions. Passive scanning isn’t very good at finding new problems or threats because it just “listens” to the network traffic. This means that it can take days or weeks to find a possible security or reliability problem. This isn’t good for modern OT systems that need to be constantly monitored and fixed.   

The only way to solve this issue is for oil and gas companies to incorporate active probing into their OT strategies. Active probing differs from other scanning techniques in that it actively interrogates the network devices and control systems for anomalies, vulnerabilities, and potential issues. This allows for faster and more reliable detection and resolution of security and reliability issues, leading to increased safety, productivity, and cost savings.   

Furthermore, active probing provides a higher level of visibility into what is going on in the OT network. This allows personnel to be notified in real-time of any issues or threats and take action quickly to address them, removing the reliance on slow, traditional solutions.  

Oil and gas companies must use active probing as part of their OT strategy if they want to stay safe, reliable, and efficient. This will give us the visibility, speed, and accuracy we need to find threats and issues quickly, deal with them, and fix them before they become big problems. With an active probing solution, they can be sure that their OT systems are safe and reliable, giving them the needed production gains without sacrificing safety. 

Learn more about OTbase.

There are around 30+ products in the “ICS Detection” category, but OTbase isn’t one of them. You may have a hard time understanding how one ICS Detection product differs from the next, but it’s easy to see how OTbase differs from all of those. For a quick check if it could be the right product for your company’s journey toward efficient OT asset management, book a meeting with our experts for more background.