Markus Küchler

Markus Küchler

Head of IT Security at Epiroc

Epiroc
Markus Kuchler, Head of IT Security at Epiroc, on how it is driving mining innovation and digital transformation with cutting-edge cybersecurity

The mining industry has historically been characterised by its heavy reliance on manual labour and mechanical technologies. Mining operations, deeply rooted in physical processes like drilling, blasting and hauling, have traditionally required significant human intervention and on-site decision-making. 

But today, as the world evolves, mining companies are scrambling to keep pace with rapid technological advancements, shifting safety imperatives and growing environmental consciousness.

Nowhere is this change more evident than at Epiroc, a global leader in mining and infrastructure equipment. With cutting-edge technology, Epiroc develops and produces innovative drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment, and provides world-class service and consumables. Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, the company is made up of almost 18,000 passionate employees who support and collaborate with customers in more than 150 countries.

Recent years have seen a flurry of technological innovations that are upending traditional mining practices. Autonomous haul trucks, AI-powered predictive maintenance, and advanced sensor networks are just a few examples of the digital tools reshaping the industry. As Epiroc navigates this complex and rapidly evolving landscape, the company's commitment to innovation and safety is emerging as a defining hallmark. From embracing cutting-edge technologies to fostering a culture of adaptability, Epiroc is charting a course that could serve as a blueprint for the mining industry’s transformation.

At the forefront of this revolution is Markus Küchler, Epiroc’s Head of IT Security, who is steering the company's strategic vision with a unique blend of technical acumen and people-centric leadership.

Küchler’s journey to Epiroc has been anything but conventional. With both a military and law enforcement background, he has leveraged his managerial skills to navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity and technological innovation.

“I'm quite proud that, even without a technical background, I've managed to acquire sufficient technical acumen at a managerial level to make informed decisions about innovative technologies.

“While I may have lacked a deep technical background, I recognised early on that I could focus on people management, driving change, and developing individuals and organisations,” he explains.

Küchler’s role at Epiroc proved to be an excellent fit from the start, allowing him to leverage his extensive experience from similar roles at the defence company Saab and the telecommunications giant, Ericsson.

“What particularly stood out at Epiroc was that – just a week after I began – our senior management had already decided to adopt and support a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Being able to immediately execute a well-conceived and robust strategy was a wonderful way to begin my time here.”

Küchler's philosophy on cybersecurity is heavily influenced by the work of Nassim Taleb, the renowned author and risk analyst. Embracing an ‘anti-fragile’ approach, Kuchler and his team aim to thrive in chaos and unstructured situations, extracting valuable lessons to enhance Epiroc’s processes when it comes to cybersecurity. 

“Imagine how beneficial it would be if we could thrive in chaos and unstructured situations, becoming stronger and more resilient as we navigate through them,” he explains. “The mindset should be to not fear disruptions or incidents, but rather to limit their negative impacts and emerge stronger.”

This adaptability and willingness to experiment are crucial as Epiroc navigates its transformation from a traditional manufacturing company to a technology-driven one. Technologies such as digitalisation, electrification, automation and autonomous capabilities are no longer just advantageous; they are essential to the company's success.

“Society is still in the early stages of understanding the rapid advancements and implications of these technologies,” Küchler adds. “We aim to foster a business environment that moves swiftly and adaptively, supported by our evolving understanding and technological capabilities.” 

Read the full story HERE.

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