The Rise in Cybersecurity Risk Threatens the Construction Industry

The Rise in Cybersecurity Risk Threatens the Construction Industry

by Proforma Construction Inc, December 23, 2020

Cybercrime is a threat to all industries, but the risk is even more imminent where large companies are concerned. The construction industry is a major target for hackers due to the extensive amount of valuable trade secrets and big contracts involved. As construction companies adopt advanced technological tools, the need to secure confidential data has become even more pressing.

Here’s what you need to know about the rising cybersecurity risks in the construction industry.

Look out for Ransomware

A colossal cybersecurity risk in the construction industry is the possibility of ransomware infiltrating the system. Ransomware is a form of malware that locks up computers until the owner pays a ransom fee through cryptocurrency. It has already cost the business world billions of dollars over the past decade. Even with sophisticated cybersecurity, a large firm can get breached when an unsuspecting employee clicks the wrong email.
Most ransomware attacks are orchestrated through email, usually using a fake identity. By establishing innocent friendships online, a hacker can engage in social engineering to win victims’ trust. Then after several months, the cybercriminal launches an attack to extract money from the business. If the victim refuses to pay, the attacker may permanently lock up computers on the network and destroy the data.

Disruptions in a Construction Job

A construction company works on a fixed schedule and must meet deadlines to satisfy clients. A ransomware attack can disrupt the company’s schedule and throw projects into turmoil. Due to the high costs of materials and labor, construction firms cannot afford to lose or delay big contracts. One of the greatest risks of a ransomware attack is that it can quickly damage a company’s reputation, not to mention lead to heavy litigation.

One of the biggest problems for a construction firm caused by a hacker is downtime. If the company doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan, it can lead to the system getting knocked offline for days instead of seconds. On the other hand, if the company has a strong backup plan in effect, downtime will be minimal.

Another major concern is that ransomware or other types of malware attacks can damage computer equipment. If the equipment is not protected by cyber insurance, it could mean a considerable replacement expense for the company. Furthermore, if a hacker can gain access to autonomous equipment, it can lead to bodily injury to workers.

How Can You Reduce Cybersecurity Risk?

The key to outsmarting hackers is to work with an experienced IT team that watches your network while your crew is busy building. IT experts should use 24/7 network monitoring software and send your project manager alerts when someone tries to breach your system. Your IT team can also handle the tedious task of regularly making data backups so that if you get hit with a ransomware attack, there’s a backup server with all your data.

It’s essential to create a cybersecurity policy that you share with employees and your IT team, which will enforce your cybersecurity requirements. Such a strategy would involve developing a list of employees and devices that can access specific network segments and digital assets.

The following are some other ways in which IT professionals can protect your network beyond running traditional antivirus software:

● Implementing unique passwords and multi-factor authentication
● Using encryption software
● Including software and hardware firewalls in your infrastructure
● Investing in virtualized servers
● Creating a blacklist of websites and applications that are to be avoided

Additionally, IT experts can provide employees with training on how to spot suspicious emails and report them. Reviewing the cybersecurity policy with all staff members is another way to make your network secure.

Reducing cybersecurity risk should be a top concern for any business. Contact the experts at Proforma Construction, Bay Area, to learn more about protecting your confidential data involving construction projects. We are available at your service even during the pandemic.