The IT/OT convergence is the integration of information technology systems with operational technology systems. While IT systems are data-driven, component-based computing OT systems make improvements in industrial operations by monitoring events, processes, and device output.

Today’s organisations face a clash between two worlds – the traditional physical world of machines, manufacturing systems, and other industrial equipment, and the digital world of servers, storage, networks, and other application and data processing devices. The two have historically occupied independent domains, seldom shared meaningful data or control, and have heavily relied on oversight and engagement from staff with contrasting skill sets.

Industry 4.0 requires the convergence of IT and OT for businesses to be able to merge processes, controls, and insights into a single universally compatible environment. The IT / OT gap arises when there is a lack of communication between the two systems, resulting in enterprises being unable to fully utilise business intelligence systems.

The IT/OT Gap in the Mining Industry

An extensive part of the Mining Industry lags behind other industries in optimised digital usage, and when businesses do start introspecting the use of digital systems, cybersecurity is often overlooked.

Confidential files left on laptops or personal devices, or shared via email, with old copies floating around for anyone to stumble upon, are common scenarios in the workplace. Not keeping track means that if an employee leaves, they can take the files with them and the company would be none the wiser. Another concern is limited cloud usage, where files are frequently uploaded to insecure storage spaces posing a security threat. Files are then left unrestricted, making it challenging to keep track of changes made and audit work done by multiple employees on shared files.

Traditional installation-based systems quickly become obsolete and the cost and effort involved in updating these systems are prohibitive and cumbersome. This may result in a delay in updating systems, opening up the opportunity for hackers to steal data and breach security systems.

Can PX4 close the gap?

Backed by years of industry experience, PX4 Resources is designed as a completely secure cloud-based system. Over the years, the software has become a trusted choice amongst many leaders in tenement management. To maintain this reputation, the system has been regularly penetration tested by external parties and professional testing companies, and continues to prove to be secure. 

Features like Multi-Factor Authentication ensure that only authorised users are able to use the system, and a simplified process helps retain or remove users from the system. Secure cloud-based document storage allows simple storage and safe remote access, and the option of Tiered Access means that no unauthorised changes can be made to important files. A Change Log keeps track of all changes made so that they can be audited in the future. 

With PX4 Resources, data is encrypted at rest, and backups and passwords are protected at all times. A Multi-Tiered Backup System ensures that data is never lost, even if the primary server crashes. To make sure we have the highest levels of security in place, we invite and encourage clients to perform their own security tests as part of our vigorous onboarding and security process. Aimed at being truly user-centric, PX4 is constantly updated with the latest security updates, technological and operational requirements, as well as customer-requested features. 

Mining is the industry most at risk for fraud

Recent research conducted by SEON inferred that the mining industry has seen the biggest overall increase in fraud cases, climbing 30% over the last 4 years, from 20 cases reported to 26. The research reviewed the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s Report to the Nations and compared the figures to the report 4 years prior, to identify which industries have suffered the largest increase in fraud. 

The mining industry was also found to have suffered the largest median loss of all of the industries examined — $475,000 on each occasion. Despite the increases in fraud cases in the industry, this median financial loss has decreased by 5% in the last four years, SEON reported. 

How PX4 reduces fraud

Fraud in the mining industry can take many forms, from inventory theft to improper asset evaluations. To counter fraud that may take place as a part of daily operations, PX4 offers a complete audit trail of all changes made to every tenement so that fraud from a data perspective can be prevented. 

The software has access control so that viewers can be granted view-only access ensuring that they cannot tamper with data, even accidentally. These controls are simply not possible with Excel based processes. Among other security-enhancing features, directly exportable reports give accurate multi-year project reports which can be validated at every level. 

If you’re looking to make the digital switch or would like to future-proof your daily operations, it’s time to speak with the team at PX4.