In today’s world, technology is interwoven throughout our daily life. We are surrounded by smart phones, computers, tablets, electric cars, and smart TVs. As we become more dependent on technology, all of these devices become increasingly connected, allowing information to flow from one device to another. Therefore, cyber security has become a prominent concern globally, yet many companies within the construction industry are ignoring the threat.
As pointed out in the 2019 Bluebeam STRXUR article, Secure Your Construction Data From Hackers, data breaches are not uncommon in the construction industry. A cyberattack against Target in 2013 caused 100 million people to have their personal information and credit card information stolen. The attackers gained access to that information because an HVAC subcontractor working for Target clicked on a malicious link in a phishing email. While most general contractors and subcontractors believe their data is not worth breaching, the growing interconnectivity of data networks could provide a way for hackers to gain access to a broader system. Essentially, hackers can use construction companies as a way to hack their customers. This is one of the many reasons why it is becoming increasingly important for construction companies to implement safe practices to secure their data.
There are many ways to ensure that your data remains secure. A few main strategies include:
Develop a plan for data security
The first step in securing your data is to come up with a customized plan that fits your company. Cyber security plans are often simple to carry out, and your company may already be implementing a few of them. One important part of any security plan is to invest in cyber insurance. Additionally, according to James Benham, founder of JB Knowledge, “If you just do basic fundamental things, rotate passwords, use VPNs, add two-factor authentication, then you’re significantly mitigating the vast majority of low-cost, simple threats that are coming your way.”
Benham also believes, “We have an irrational fear of cloud-based systems.” While it may sound counterintuitive, using cloud-based storage can protect construction companies from hackers due its authentication protocols and its capability to limit access to certain documents. For an example, see the Applied Software blog article, “Protect Against Ransomware with Panzura.”
The cyberattack on Target could have been prevented with one click. A small mistake can cost millions of dollars in damage control. That is why educating employees on the dangers of security breaches such as phishing emails should be a permanent part of any data security plan. It can also be useful to run a company-wide test using a replication of common cyberattack methods in order to practice avoiding threats.
According to the 2019 Ponemon Institute and IBM report, the average cost of a data breach in 2019 was $3.92 million and has steadily been on the rise. Because of this growing cost, construction companies can no longer ignore the threat of cyberattacks. The industry as a whole must stop considering their data of no value to hackers and, instead, invest in its ongoing protection.
If you’d like to start a dialog with an industry expert about how to protect your firm from cyberattacks, contact Applied Software today. Work with the Applied experts to determine the best way to protect your firm’s data.