Page 10 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- July 2019
P. 10

The author will be writing a monthly article throughout 2019 on Cybersecurity across var- ious market segments. Be sure to watch for it to see how your business may benefit from this important information. Good reading and see you next month.
In the 19th century, mining ruled the econ- omy of the U.P. with the Copper Country mines being the world’s largest producer of copper. Although the industry declined many years ago, there are still some mining opera- tions being conducted across the U.P. to this day.
Like most industries, mining must approach cybersecurity as an overall business risk and not just an IT risk. A report from Ernst & Young, a multi-national advisory service headquartered in the UK, states that 97% of mining companies know that they are lacking in cybersecurity protections, despite 55% of mining operators admitting they have experi- enced a significant cyber threat in 2017. [1]
The modern mining industry utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the concept
of attaching sensors or controls to inert “things” (in this case, equipment) so they can communicate with
other connected
“things” on the inter-
net. For example, use
of this system allows
for a proactive main-
tenance approach.
Thresholds can be set
up for each asset
(equipment) so if the
condition data falls
outside that range, the system can dispatch a technician to address the problem before it occurs. This is an essential asset management tool in the mining industry, but it is also a win- dow of opportunity for a broad set of attackers that range from hackers aiming to disrupt operations, to hostile governments attempting to acquire a competitive edge on commodi- ties, to ‘hacktivists’ looking to promote polit- ical, environmental, or social change.
Michael Rundus is a global mining and met-
als cybersecurity leader for Ernst & Young. “Mining companies must have digital strate- gies in place which have col- laboration and innovation at their core. Collabora- tion between com- panies, and even industries, helps to educate the workforce and allow companies to learn from best practices”, Mr. Rundus says. “Cyber must be a key consideration moving forward as the industry takes on this significant change, otherwise the cyber risk
may outweigh the business benefits.”
With cyber attacks on the rise, every indus- try is a target. However, by adopting proactive cyber policies instead of reactive, post-attack responses, companies can increase their pro- tection against cyber threats and can prevent
costly data breaches.
[1] “Do Mining Companies Need to Wake Up to the
Cyber Threat?” Ernst & Young, Mining Technology, Sep- tember 2018
A. Elisabeth Tolsdorf is author of this article and the Director of NIST SP 800-171 Compliance for Hawk Technologies, a woman-owned firm located in Houghton, Michigan. Hawk is the Upper Midwest’s primary source for NIST SP 800-171 Compliance services. Additional information about NIST SP 800-171 and Hawk’s CAD services capabilities can be found at
Cybersecurity and the Mining Industry
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Every business should strive to have ethical and trust- worthy employees. That’s why it’s important to lead by example. Being an ethical business leader is something you should embody 24/7, not just during work hours. An effective leader should make values in the workplace an important part of their everyday agenda. You are a representation of your business. Practicing moral behavior will set an example of how your workers should act as well.
“Being an ethical leader is one of the most important things you can do for your business,” said Melanie Duquesnel, President & CEO of BBB® Serving East- ern Michigan. “By creating trustworthy employees, you’re showing your clients you care. People do busi- ness with people they trust.”
As a leader, implementing an Ethical Code of Con- duct that you not only live by but instill into the com- pany is imperative to having successful, trustworthy employees. Make sure that you are holding your team accountable for their behavior. This will help build morale not only in the office environment but, it also creates stronger client relationships.
Trust is essential for the growth of your business. Bet- ter Business Bureau® stands by eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and main- taining trust in business, known as the BBB Standards of Trust.
Build Trust. Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.
Advertise Honestly. Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.
Tell the Truth. Honestly represent products and serv- ices, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.
Be Transparent. Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all
policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a cus- tomer’s decision to buy.
Honor Promises. Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.
Be Responsive. Address marketplace disputes quick- ly, professionally, and in good faith.
Safeguard Privacy. Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of cus- tomers regarding the use of their
Embody Integrity. You should approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.
According to Richard Bowen, Speaker on Ethical Leadership, one of the 2018 Global Business Ethics Surveys concluded that implementing ethics and com- pliance initiatives in businesses has a positive impact on the organization.
According to Mr. Bowen’s website (richardm-, at least half of our organizations have employees who report seeing unethical or actual illegal practices occur in the workplace. It’s important to pro- mote ethical behavior and business practices but also to encourage your employees to speak up when some- thing isn’t right. Even organizations that adopt ethics and compliance efforts minimally, their employees are still 132% more likely to report misconduct and 270% were satisfied with the outcome after reporting what they saw.
By building up your employees and strengthening their ethics, you’re ultimately helping the growth of your organization. What are you doing to prepare for the growth of your business? Visit for more business tips or call 866.788.5706 to learn more about becoming a trusted, BBB Accredited Business.
Like most industries, mining must approach cybersecurity as an overall business risk and not
just an IT risk.

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