Vision: Computing and Authentication Practices in Global Oil and Gas Fields

Mary Rose Martinez, Shriram Krishnamurthi

European Symposium on Usable Security, 2021


Oil and gas fields are a critical part of our infrastructure, and vulnerable to attack by powerful adversaries. In addition, these are often difficult work environments, with constraints on space, clothing, and more. Yet there is little research on the technology practices and constraints of workers in these environments. We present what we believe is the first survey of oil- and gas-field workers located around the world. We establish the presence and status of a variety of computing devices and of the security practices that govern their use. We also determine the working conditions (such as personal protective equipment) under which these devices are used, which impacts usable security aspects like feasible forms of authentication. Our preliminary work suggests many directions for improving security in this critical sector.


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