Three out of every four construction companies will experience a cyber security incident in the next twelve months. You may think it can’t happen to you because you’re an employee at a building site. It couldn’t happen at your small company because larger companies are more attractive targets.
Cybercrime affects employees, companies, and clients alike. In 2021, businesses lost nearly $6 trillion to cybercrime events.
Cybersecurity Exposure in the Construction Industry
You may wonder, how will cyber threats affect me if I’m at a job site? Exposure to cyber crimes can happen in a variety of ways. Imagine this scenario:
The project manager drives out to a site to walk through a final punch list with a client. Because the traffic was terrible, the PM is late. When he jumps out of his truck, he grabs his phone but leaves the company tablet behind. The PM is too worried because his files are backed up on his mobile phone. After a successful walkthrough, the client approves the final payment using an electronic payment option.
Upon returning to his truck, the PM discovered that his tablet had been stolen.
The thieves now have access to privileged company information, including account numbers.
Theft isn’t your only worry. Stealthy hackers actively search for breaches in your cybersecurity plan.
Cybercrimes that Threaten Your Business and Your Job
Hacking schemes vary from year to year, but most of them fall into these four categories:
- Phishing – More than 90% of all attacks against your business will begin with an attempt to lure you onto a bogus website and extract personally identifiable information (PII).
- Internal error – Mistakes happen, especially when manually updating systems. Opt for automation.
- Retaliation – Angry agents or contractors may hack your system to “get back at you” for a perceived injustice.
- Weak passwords–Require longer passwords consisting of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Once you know what to look for, you can take steps to prevent cyber attacks.
Steps to Take Immediately
How can you prepare for a cyber attack?
Decide on the outcome you want. Make your cybersecurity plan simple and easy to follow. Develop “what if” strategies with your teams to:
- Limit exposure
- Protect client and employee PII
- Secure mobile devices when not in use
- Ask subcontractors and third-party suppliers about their cybersecurity plans
- Back up data as a contingency
While it’s critical to your safety, establishing a robust cybersecurity plan goes beyond the process. With today’s technology, outcomes matter most. Maybe it’s time to hire an outcomes-driven IT specialist to help support your employees and recommend a plan to help you stay in control of your data.