Cybersecurity Awareness in the Construction Industry

When you think data breach, does your mind instantly go to the financial or medical industry? A common thought when you see constant headlines about what bank or medical facility has been attacked daily… but what about other industries? The financial and medical industry are not the only sectors that have be forced to adapt to technological and environmental changes. Certain industries have become a forgotten industry when it comes to prioritizing risk management.

The construction industry, amongst many others, has shifted their infrastructure to adapt to technological changes. We are now in a greater shift towards a paperless world, which puts the construction industry at just as much risk as any other industry. Construction companies function just like other businesses but with an added set of unique risks. Those unique risks are governed around particular tools for managing information, services and system controls. Many construction companies utilize self-sufficient construction machinery, drones, software tools, robotics, cloud technology, mobile devices and more, which increase the likelihood of a data breach, lawsuits, damaged equipment and devices, and lost opportunities.

Another risk is the disconnect between the office and field, which increases the likelihood of human error and creating gaps where hackers can “spoof” your business. Those factors and gaps put construction companies not only at risk of exposing liabilities but also increase costs in dealing with a breach in data and confidentiality, interfere with projects, cause failures in robotics, which also cause delays in business. Internal factors are not the only thing that should get more security attention, but there are many external factors to think about as well.

One important external factor that needs to be considered is information sharing between construction companies and their external contact. If your construction company is underprepared for an attack, the external connections like contractors, subcontractors and owners are also at stake, which leads to an increase in exposure. Safely sharing information between construction companies and external contacts is a two-way street. It is imperative for construction companies to not only take in account all the risk factors that they are exposed to but to also adopt a risk management plan to secure their business going forward.

Many physically demanding professions, like construction companies, are primarily focused on physical safety precautions because of the high physical labor demand however by putting such drastic focus in one area, it can lead to neglecting another.

Cybersecurity has taken the back seat to many of these companies and because they do not credit cybersecurity as a high priority like physical safety, it could result in far worse consequences such as monetary loss and job loss. When you cannot pay your bills because you have been hacked, you cannot pay your employees and at that point physical safety precautions will be a distant concern. Find your balance in your construction company by valuing your cyber safety as you value your laborers.

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