The future of the mining industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with cybersecurity being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on mining companies. A detailed analysis of the theme, insights into the leading companies, and their thematic and valuation scorecards are included in GlobalData’s thematic research report,Cybersecurity in Mining – Thematic Research.  Buy the report here.

For an industry that is becoming increasingly interconnected, the growing focus on cybersecurity in mining comes as no surprise. The IoT sensors, augmented reality (AR) devices, autonomous vehicles, and drones that improve mining operations are equally capable of halting activity if they fall prey to cyberattacks. The operational technology (OT) networks of mining operations are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to their lower security maturity than corporate networks. As such, mining companies prioritising cybersecurity will invest in a host of solutions to secure their OT networks, such as 24/7 security event monitoring, identity management systems, and staff training. 

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However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.  

According to GlobalData’s report, Cybersecurity in Mining leading adopters of cybersecurity include: Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP, Fortescue Metals, Kinross Gold, Nippon Steel, Nornickel, POSCO, Rio Tinto, South32, Tata Steel, Teck Resources, and Vedanta.  

Insights from top ranked companies  

BHP 

BHP recognises cyberthreats as an organisational priority, focusing on monitoring its IT and OT systems for potential threats. The company is focused on growing its cybersecurity specialists, and in 2017 work started to double the company’s permanent IT workforce with security architecture professionals, cyber incident response employees, and forensics and investigation specialists. All staff that proactively work on threat detection and response alongside conducting post-mortems to identify the root vulnerabilities leading to an attack, and thus implementing policy changes across the company’s IT and OT networks. 

Antofagasta 

The pandemic reinvigorated Antofagasta’s approach to cybersecurity with the new cyber risks introduced by remote working. The company used this time to focus on the digital literacy of its employees. Around 2,200 employees took digital literacy courses with cybersecurity learning as a key focus. Around 10% of these employees even went onto more advanced courses addressing the overall cybersecurity skill shortage. In 2022, Antofagasta has also deployed private 5G networks to some of their Chilean copper mine sites in partnership with Nokia. The private 5G networks enable secure operations with high capacity and low latency.

Anglo American 

Anglo American recognises the increased and almost daily threat from cyberattacks. The company has a global security team across Australia, the UK, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Singapore, South Africa, and Spain. Fundamental to Anglo American’s approach to cybersecurity is the focus on training current employees and future cybersecurity experts. This is most notably done through the company’s pioneering two-year cybersecurity apprenticeship to introduce new talent and address the overall cybersecurity skills shortage.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the mining industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Mining. The mining companies featured in our thematic scorecard are listed below.

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Frequently asked questions

  • 1. Why are Mining companies investing in cybersecurity?

    Mining companies are investing in cybersecurity to protect their operations from cyberattacks, which can result in financial losses, reputational damage, and regulatory penalties. The mining industry is vulnerable to cyberattacks at every stage of the value chain, from prospecting and exploration to marketing and reclamation. Cybersecurity investment can also help resolve digitalization and ESG challenges.

  • 2. How do cyberattacks impact the Mining industry?

    Cyberattacks can impact the mining industry by stealing important geological data, surveys, and mapping of economically exploitable mineral deposits. This can turn into extortion if money is demanded in exchange for returning information without encryption and with confidentiality intact. Cyberattacks can also target personal employee data, payroll data, accounts payable date, production scheduling data, and pricing data, resulting in regulatory penalties, financial losses, and reputational damage.

  • 3. Which Mining companies are leaders in cybersecurity adoption?

    Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP, Fortescue Metals, Kinross Gold, Nippon Steel, Nornickel, POSCO, Rio Tinto, South32, Tata Steel, Teck Resources, and Vedanta are the mining companies leading in cybersecurity adoption.

  • 4. Who are the leading vendors of cybersecurity to the Mining industry?

    The leading vendors of cybersecurity to the mining industry include Arm, Intel, Apple, Samsung Electronics, Synopsys, Broadcom, One Identity, Apple Last Pass, Megvii, Zscaler, Cisco, Netskope, Fortinet, CrowdStrike, VMware, Microsoft, Splunk, Exabeam, Trend Micro, Palo Alto Networks, Sentinel One, Proofpoint, Broadcom, Trellix, Check Point Software, IBM, Mimecast, and Barracuda.

  • 5. How does increased investment in cybersecurity benefit Mining companies?

    Increased investment in cybersecurity can benefit mining companies by protecting their operations from cyberattacks, reducing the burden on the internal workforce, and improving their ESG performance. Cybersecurity investment can also help resolve digitalization challenges and improve operational productivity.

  • 6. What is the projected market size of cybersecurity in Mining?

    Global cybersecurity revenues across all sectors are headed for strong growth in the first half of the 2020s, increasing from $125.6 billion in 2020 to $198.0 billion by 2025. In the mining vertical, global cybersecurity revenues will similarly see steady growth as heavy industries, such as mining, seek to protect their operations from the evolving cyberthreats spurred on by digitalization.

  • 7. Who are the leading specialist cybersecurity vendors in Mining?

    The leading specialist cybersecurity vendors in mining include RedEnd Minerals, Anyvision, and Department 13.

  • 8. What are the components of the cybersecurity value chain?

    The components of the cybersecurity value chain include hardware, software, and services such as unified threat management, vulnerability management, application security, managed security services, risk and compliance services, post-breach response services, chip-based security, identity management, data security, email security, network security, threat detection and response, cloud security, and endpoint security.

GlobalData

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Thematic Scorecard ranks companies within a sector based on their overall leadership in the 10 themes that matter most to their industry, generating a leading indicator of their future earnings and relative position within key strategic areas.