Utilising threat intelligence data during COVID-19
The spread of coronavirus across the world has shown how quickly events can develop and change the course of human activity.
From individuals practising social distancing through to supply chains coming under strain to meet countries’ demands. The energy sector is no different – according to IHS Markit, the reduction in oil consumption due to coronavirus has led to a first-half surplus of 1.8bn barrels of crude oil. The volume of available storage for oil production is already running low.
Alongside the impact of coronavirus on country economies, there is also the impact on specific production facilities and operations to consider. Oil rigs have had to develop processes for handling those that have caught the virus, while also protecting their employees that are in place.
Planning ahead in this environment becomes essential, but it is hard to make the right decisions without accurate and objective data. Using threat intelligence in the right way can help.
Threat intelligence in a time of a pandemic
In order to make the best decisions around how to respond to changes, it is essential to take an intelligence-led approach. This data has to include information on wider trends and issues at a global level, but it also has to be practical for those in specific locations to use too. Getting a 10,000-foot overview is great for those managing business operations globally, but those responsible for specific oilfields or installations require this kind of information too.
To gather this information and make it useful requires both a large amount of data and the analytical skills to make this useful. While raw data can be great for those that understand it, it’s not useful for business leaders without the right context. Similarly, having great analysts and small samples of data can lead to incomplete understanding and poorer planning.
Developing your own approach
It is also not a simple exercise to gather this data. There are multiple data sources and providers, increasing to hundreds or thousands of different data streams for truly international companies. To make this data work in practice, you have to bring together different feeds, systems and applications, especially when each security team within a country can have its own approach.
Sharing, storing and tracking information is difficult in these circumstances, so standardising on one approach that can be made available to everyone is advisable. This joined-up approach ultimately improves efficiency and performance whilst saving the business both time and money.
By managing your approach to threat intelligence and getting better context in place, you can improve your decision making at multiple levels, based on providing timely and useful insight for all those that need it.
As companies seek to understand what their market situation is, getting the right data will be essential. Without accurate, clear and open data, it’s more difficult to make the right decisions. Whether the world returns to normal after the impact of the coronavirus epidemic – or indeed, whether this becomes the new normal for organisations to cope with – threat intelligence data will be vital for the security of oil and gas companies in the future.
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