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The need to take advantage of ICT developments to improve HSE management

Insufficient ICT security is about more than the risk of data loss. ICT security in the oil industry is of great importance when people's health and safety as well as working environment and material values have to be safeguarded.

This was one of the main messages conveyed during the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's seminar on HSE and ICT (information and communication technology) security in integrated operations on Wednesday 29 November. SINTEF has assisted the PSA with facilitating the conference.

The Petroleum Safety Authority emphasises that the industry must consciously draw on ICT developments and constant changes in order to achieve better management of health, safety and environment. Magne Ognedal underlined how important ICT solutions are to the entire basis for HSE - not just for securing data.

Lessons to learn from the USA
Richard Jackson, Chief Information Protection Officer at Chevron, brought up some of the main challenges faced by companies. Mr Jackson also described a number of security measures and strategies from the USA and referred to extensive ICT research that has been carried out there.
Christian H Gresser, NESEC, illustrated to a packed Valhall how it is possible to break into and damage ICT systems for process control. Mr Gresser gave an account of various hacking techniques, a number of known cases of break-ins into ICT systems within the oil industry, and the consequences these can have.

ICT and management
Erik Hollnagel, Industrial Safety Chair at Ecole des Mines de Paris, concluded the guest speeches by putting ICT security into a management perspective. Professor Hollnagel took up the way in which risk is handled by organisations that are undergoing constant change. He also pointed out how behavioural variations are normal and are a prerequisite for efficient adaptation to changes in enterprises' general conditions - as well as a source of durability in security-related work.
Several of the speakers expressed a general need to build bridges between the different disciplines and ICT organisations, particularly between the communities responsible for administrative systems and those responsible for process control systems.

Strong interest
The PSA's conference gathered both technical specialists and operational management from suppliers, operators, service companies as well as research and development communities.

All the presentations can be found in the links box.

Contact in the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway: