Cyber security in mining

The mining industry today is more exposed to cyber security risks than ever. Luckily, you have a strong partner on your side.

The productivity of modern industry depends on sophisticated computer-controlled automation systems that have become so powerful, and so ubiquitous, that they amount to a new industrial revolution – the internet of things.

Progress is, however, often accompanied by unintended consequences. In the case of automation, the computers that make production smarter also make it more vulnerable to external interference. The possibility of infection by the malicious code that infests the internet is one thing: the Stuxnet worm was one memorable example of a virus that targeted industrial control systems; since then we have also had a sophisticated attack on a German steel mill that crippled a blast furnace, as well as many day-to-day attacks that don’t make it to the headlines, but which also cause damage and delay.

As our experts design these cutting-edge control systems, we also know how to make them as resilient as possible. To this end, our expert team has formulated a set of measures aimed at protecting their reliability, integrity and availability. The general idea is to set up a “defense in depth”, an important part in which is played by ABB’s distributed control system, ABB Ability™ System 800xA

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Our solutions

Gain an understanding of the cyber security posture of your system(s)

Security Controls
Defend against fundamental threats by implementing cyber security controls

Reduce incidents by equipping your team with cyber security insight 

Ensure continuous protection of your automation systems using our skilled industrial cyber security engineers 

Implement your cyber security projects using our global network of industrial cyber security experts 

Security Operations
Leverage our global network of experts through ABB Collaborative Operations Centers for 24/7 continuous monitoring and support

Case study

How to protect high demanding mining equipment?

As standards and regulations for cybersecurity continue to evolve and new threats emerge, ABB collaborates closely with its customers on solutions to help them comply with industry standards, secure their operations now and protect them going forward. 

In ABB Industrial Automation's cybersecurity team, experienced experts work to identify and minimize risks, and to implement solutions and services that improve security in industrial systems as needed by customers. The teams are located all over the world, and work both on site and remotely from ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations Centers. They connect with customers in real time to help identify, prevent and resolve issues. All of these communications are handled by a secure remote platform, so that the integrity of the overall control system is not affected; indeed, security is designed into every layer of the platform, eliminating the need for virtual private networks or cumbersome changes to security procedures. 

But why is all this so important for you as a mining operator? 

The answer is that you cannot afford to take the risk of unauthorized interference with your operations. A virus such as the one that wrecked the German blast furnace is an even more serious matter when your facility is inside the Arctic Circle or half way up a mountain in the Andes.  

The operation of mines rely more and more on digital systems that optimize productivity and minimize health and safety risks. And as distributed control systems become ever more critical to the operation of a mine, so does the need to protect these systems from interference. This makes our unique combination of mining experience and our suite of security measures an indispensable partner for the mining company of the future.  

5 things you can do now to be prepared:


Assessments - identify and assess risks, start with basic

  • benchmark (traffic light report)
  • fingerprint (details with actions)
  • security and risk assessment
  • asset inventory 


Protections - implement firewalls and malware protection:

  • firewalls
  • anti-viruses
  • whitelisting


Hardening - harden the systems to eliminate vulnerabilities:

  • remove unused software and apps
  • lock down configurations
  • add user access control and permissions 


Patching - all software has vulnerabilities, keep the system updated:

  • update operating system software with patches
  • update device firmware
  • refresh hardware and software as needed


Back-up and recovery - it is impossible to mitigate 100% risks:

  • without back-ups of applications and configurations there is no recovery
  • your best ensurance is having back-ups
  • all digital assets should be backed up

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