Data protection and security is important to businesses everywhere. But when it comes to the oil and gas industry, one of the largest and most vital industries in the world, it’s imperative that there are strong protections against hackers. Today, Microsoft released a new case study entitled “Secure Software Development Trends in the Oil & Gas Sectors,” which takes a close look at the importance of application security to the oil and gas industry and discusses how a structured approach to software development can help mitigate many of the risks these organizations face. 

The study offers perspectives from many industry leaders and discusses how a holistic approach to secure development, such as Microsoft’s free Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), can help protect an organization from cybersecurity attacks. Microsoft provides the SDL to customers in an effort to help create a more secure environment for everyone. The basics of the SDL are relatively easy to introduce and are designed to help developers whether they have securityexperience or not. Be sure to check out the SDL here.

A comprehensive process like the SDL helps build practical solutions out of the belief that cybersecurity is every employee’s job, from the CEO on down. The SDL is general enough that it can be adapted to a wide range of security environments, but rigorous enough to meet exacting standards in the most security-sensitive industries, like oil and gas. The SDL is particularly relevant as oil and gas companies work toward better application security and security of the outsourced applications they use. Companies in the industry have traditionally responded to cyberattacks by patching and updating their operational infrastructure. But that’s not enough to create a secure environment. Increasingly, the applications companies use to conduct day-to-day business and control business processes in the field are becoming the major points of attack because that is where valuable data is stored.

A secure product isn’t the only benefit – the SDL has also led to real cost savings. A 2011 study by the research firm Aberdeen Group found that companies that incorporate security throughout the development process, rather than wait until the end of the process to perform reviews and tests, made four times the return on their annual investments in application security.

If you are responsible for the development or procurement of software, make sure you check out the case study released today, the many free security development resources available at www.microsoft.com/sdl, and this blog post from Tim Rains, director of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing. Cybersecurity has never been more important or necessary, so it’s worth getting up to speed on the latest protections available.

The oil and gas industry is very important to us. The Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture (MURA) framework shows how we are leading the industry to the next generation of solutions and working alongside our global oil and gas industry partners to ensure that the latest versions of these technologies provide the foundation for their oilfield solutions. Technologies like cloud services, apps, mobility, social computing and platforms that unlock the potential of Big Data are taking the industry to another level, and Microsoft is on the forefront of this transformation. Download the MURA framework here for more information.

Be sure to check out our Oil and Gas page and visit our Microsoft Business Newsroom for more information about how other businesses are finding success by using Microsoft products.