Ian Todd, Vice President of Airports at Restrata, was invited to discuss current threats to critical national infrastructure in the Middle East on the Alam Al Taqa Show for Sky News Arabia. The interview was live on Tuesday 30th August 2016 and is conducted in Arabic.
In the interview, Ian discusses primary threats to critical national infrastructure in the Middle East, noting in particular Libya, Iraq and Nigeria. Key threats were noted as terrorist attacks, theft and the growing risk of cyber attacks. Statistics show that in the last decade, over 95% of pipeline leakages were due to artificial (human) damages. The sabotage of plants and pipelines affect production levels and ultimately the amount of oil available for sale. In Nigeria alone this sabotage amounts to $12 billion annually.
Ian also explained that the region is not just following the international standard, but in fact leading it. This is largely due to the high levels of financial investment and the presence of international consultants active in the area sharing knowledge and best practice, and working with local organisations to apply their expertise to solve regional industry concerns, producing solutions that can be tailored and applied globally.
When asked if there had been a cut in investment for security and training, Ian explained that there is still investment but low oil prices were having an impact on the security arena. In response to this, the industry, including Restrata, have had to find new solutions that provide a more cost effective option to companies, for example, there has been an increase in companies seeking managed/outsourced services.
Ian advised companies to invest both time and money in cyber security, predicting that the risks in this area will continue to grow as critical national infrastructure becomes increasingly reliant on computer networks. Cyber protection, suited to the specific requirements of the industry has become a necessity, as well as the need for a detailed emergency response plan to be in place in the event of an attack.