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Urgent Need to Act: Mine Workers Could Be Trained on Cybersecurity

A report from the Institut national des mines (INMQ) published this month shows that post-secondary institutions are supportive to adding cybersecurity competency building for future mine workers.

This document emphasizes that “at least two thirds of successful cyberattacks affecting mining companies are the result of inappropriate conduct from personnel.”

The 60-page document titled Portrait de la cybersécurité dans les programmes de formation includes 6 key findings, listed here:

1- The improvement of cybersecurity competencies in the mining workforce is imperative;

2- The necessity to raise awareness in regard to the three cybersecurity competencies to progress in the mining industry in the digital era;

3- Some forms of cybersecurity awareness can be found in a minority of analyzed programs;

4- The majority of analyzed programs don’t deliver awareness-building activities.

5-  Mining training institutions understand the importance of cybersecurity in the industry as well as competency development in learners;

6-  Institutions are largely in favour of including cybersecurity competencies in the ministerial specifications of analyzed training programs.

Findings show that despite a growing use of information technologies in the performance of tasks by mine workers, cybersecurity is not integrated to existing training. One of the reasons, according to Steve Waterhouse, is that there aren’t any qualified instructors to deliver as of yet.

Training is more than mere formality, as the document stresses how cyberattacks can be detrimental to mining companies, illustrating a range of outcomes from the weakening of corporate identity and reputation to risks of serious injury.

The interest of institutions such as universities and CEGEP indicates, however, that there is hope. Furthermore, when asked about the likelihood of cybersecurity awareness activities be added to study programs within the next two years, a little over 76% of them responded that it was “Very likely” or “Rather likely”.

A glimmer of hope to avoid negative outcomes in an ever-expanding field.