The cost of shutting down a refinery, or an oil well, or even a digital pipeline can cost millions of dollars in revenue loss to any oil company, and with today's oil prices at their highest peak, this could be devastating to the economy of countries were oil revenue still represents up to 70% of their total GDP. Now imagine, if this was caused by unauthorized access or breach of security to the production operations- Process Control Systems ?

Process Control Systems have always been an integral and crucial part of any Energy company's critical infrastructure. Over the years, they have evolved from stand-alone islands to interconnected networks that co-exist with corporate IT environments, introducing many security threats. For the past years, these systems were effectively isolated from sources of cyber threats external to their owners and operators. But today, growing demand in the industry driven by new business requirements and new advancement in technology to link both systems together has led to an increase need to secure process control systems in order to minimize their vulnerabilities to cyber threats.

In response, Cisco Systems has developed and innovative solution called "Secure Architecture for Process Control". This solution is designed to address the risks inherent in modern process control systems while providing best of breed security solutions and delivering comprehensive asset protection and secure access to real-time information.

This paper will examine the new security threats facing the most critical infrastructures in the Energy industry and it will address the following topics; What are the new business trends and drivers ? What are the new security threats ? How secure is your system ? Should you be worried ? What solutions are available today ? What new services can be introduced ?

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