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A study by Booz Allen Hamilton said oil and gas companies are modernizing their networks to outsiders but becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

“Oil and gas leaders must address the weighty task of assessing the security of third-party vendors and protecting critical business assets from those who should not have access or who wish to disrupt the business,” the report said.

An attack last year on more than 30,000 Saudi Aramco computers intended to disrupt crude production highlighted the threat.

“The industry is only now coming to terms with the cyber risk management challenges created by a more open network and increased reliance on the technology supply chain,” Booz Allen said.

“The technology has changed radically in the past 10 years, and the business environment has changed radically in the past two or three years,” according to Nick Bahr from Booz Allen in Dubai.