Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing, mining and metals industries as more and more processes become automated.

Despite the level of technology and automation in a company, a ‘risk-based’ approach is the best. Your security processes must be built upon a risk basis, even if it has little to no experience with cyber attacks. The digital future is here, and while it will change mining for the better, it also comes with its caveats.

Where’s the cyber threat?

As industries become increasingly automated and efficient, they also become more digital. This poses a problem: vulnerability.

Previously, the biggest threat to manufacturing and mining was human error, since most jobs were done manually. Now, automated machines can do many of these jobs.

The connectivity that comes with the autonomous mine, while effective and beneficial, can pose a threat. EY Global Mining & Metals Automation Expert, Michael Rundus, points out that as “mining companies begin to automate more and more of their operations their ‘attack surface’ increases and so does their overall cyber risk.”

The value of increased cybersecurity is to protect automated processes, reduce their cyber risk and overall protect both the company and the data dealt with. This risk goes further than merely exposing data.

If a hacker succeeds in attacking company automated vehicles or autonomous processes, this could be dangerous or even life-threatening for workers.

The solution could be more tech

For a more secure workforce, we must integrate emerging technologies to provide multiple layers of security. For example, putting important data on the blockchain can prevent weaknesses in data protection, as it’s decentralized and more secure than traditional systems.

Having a risk-based framework in place can also help to mitigate attacks.

There are a myriad of ways that we can mitigate risk in cybersecurity in mining. It doesn’t have to mean compromising digital transformation.

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