3 Trends and a Surprise: Takeaways from the LDC Gas Forums Event

I attended the 34e Annual LDG Gas Forum – Mid-continent event in Chicago, IL last week where over 350 natural gas industry leaders gathered to discuss the latest trends. Executives who work for midstream, pipeline, transportation, utility, LNG and supply chain organizations attended the meeting to learn about the current state of the industry, discuss current trends and anticipate opportunities.

Here are the top 3 takeaways I took away from the networking conversations and the event full agenda:

  1. Many presentations referenced the importance of business agility and the ability to quickly adapt to all the volatility the industry faces today. The natural gas industry and its partners must be able to remain resilient and prepared for any type of incident, including weather events, sudden price fluctuations, unexpected failure of a supply source, etc.
  2. Several sessions referenced the importance of “supply chain alternatives” in their presentations. Organizations are prioritizing finding new partnerships with third-party organizations so they can continue to drive business forward even during times when their primary partners are having trouble and cannot help them deliver.
  3. The industry has turned to innovative technology to find more operational efficiency. For example, “virtual pipelines,” where gas delivery is done by truck or trailer, have begun to be used by utility companies to keep a community’s electricity uninterrupted while their facility is running. object of repairs. Emissions monitoring has also been brought to the fore on stage, with automated leak alerts set to become standard in the natural gas industry.

As the week progressed, it also became apparent that you would be hard-pressed to find an industry that relies more heavily on third-party contractors. From consultants and supply chain workers to drivers and laborers, the energy industry is powered by partnerships and third parties.

The event was a winner on all levels, but I had a conversation that surprised me…

At a networking reception, I spoke with someone who has worked closely with electric utility organizations. Pricking his brain, I asked how much importance currently placed on cybersecurity by utility management teams. He told me that it was indeed a big talking point, but that progress towards securing their factories was slower than it should be, mainly because of the budget.

He has primarily worked with smaller utilities and referenced a narrative that many in the power industry believe a “large” utility is much more likely to be targeted. This (frightening) narrative has apparently prevented many organizations from moving faster to secure their factories and facilities.

At SecZetta, we know that organizations of all sizes are actively targeted by cybercriminals because we see it happening…every…day. And because these criminals know that the easiest way to gain access to your organization is often through third-party access (according to Opus & Ponemon Institute, 51% of organizations have experienced a data breach caused by a third party). .. the truth is you are only as secure as your third party partners.

If you are in the energy industry and want to learn how SecZetta can help you manage the lifecycle of your non-employee third parties, schedule a demo or take a product tour that shows how we work with organizations with significant supply chains.

Harry L. Blanchard