Mining operations have significantly improved in recent times, thanks to the adoption of automation, digitization, and IoT devices that boost operational efficiency. However, these improvements come at a price because an increasingly technologically connected mining environment makes mining operations more susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Nevertheless, today’s mining companies cannot afford the consequences of cyber-attacks for various reasons. Below are some insights into why cybersecurity is a top priority for modern-day mining operations.
Preventing Operation Disruptions
As stated early on, mining operations largely depend on digital systems that boost productivity and lower health and safety risks. As such, any successful cyber breach can potentially disrupt entire operations, leading to a temporary suspension of mining activities. These extended shutdowns can lead to massive losses in productivity and revenue that can affect the bottom line of affected mining companies.
Consequently, it isn’t surprising to see some of the world’s leading mining businesses going to great lengths to ensure that their digital systems are protected from external interference. Reputable mining companies such as Alamos Gold are great examples of such businesses.
Alamos Gold Inc. is a leading intermediate gold producer based in Toronto, Canada. The company has three operating mines in North America: The Mulatos Mine in Mexico’s Sonora State and the Young Davidson and Island Gold mines in Northern Ontario. Also, you can locate Alamos Gold in Turkey, where they oversee the Ağı Dağ, Çamyurt, and Kirazli projects.
The company recently filed an investment treaty claim above $1 billion against the Republic of Turkey for what it considers ” unfair and inequitable treatment” regarding their gold mining project. This development can be traced back to 2019 when Alamos halted construction work on its Kirazli project after its mining concessions expired due to protests.
Many Turks, including opposition lawmakers, accused Alamos Gold of using cyanide in its gold extraction methods, polluting the soil and water of a nearby dam. However, Alamos CEO, John McCluskey, maintains that they had taken measures to ensure that cyanide didn’t leak into the environment. McCluskey also added that Alamos had paid for the restoration of the area and that the protests were politically motivated. Furthermore, Alamos has stated that the result of not renewing mining licenses could well be losses of greater than half a billion dollars to the Turkish economy.
Avoiding Theft Of Sensitive Information
Hackers target mining companies to steal several pieces of valuable information they can leverage in diverse ways. For example, customer information is crucial because competitors can use this data to hijack future sales. Also, pricing information is critical because having inside knowledge of a mine’s pricing data can help another company outbid their competition.
Consequently, there’s a growing need for better cybersecurity solutions that prevent data theft and other hostile internet threats. Effective web security solutions such as Securd can help with this need.
Securd.com enables your IT and security teams to reduce your institution’s long-term cyber risks using simple, scalable, and quality cloud-based security solutions. This platform has zero-trust DNS protection, anti-virus scans, and analytics that assess your cyber threats and attacks to obtain insights. Also, Securd’s patent-pending protective DNS defends your company against malware attacks with precision control that legacy DNS firewall and DNS filtering cannot provide.
These days, any successful cyberattack significantly damages the reputation of companies, so all companies prioritize cybersecurity to guard their reputation. For mining companies, hacktivism is a grave threat that must be prevented at all costs. This reality is because numerous environmentally-conscious hacktivists will stop at nothing to disrupt mining operations and protest the effects of mining on wildlife and the environment through targeted cyber attacks.
To conclude, cybersecurity is crucial to modern-day mining for numerous reasons. The points above are some key insights into specific reasons why every mining company must prioritize cybersecurity.