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Cybersecurity risks and preventions in the construction industry

31 March, 2022

The construction industry has faced a number of major challenges over the last few years, from site closures in lockdown to material supply shortages, increased materials costs and even labour shortages due to Brexit immigration changes.


While the construction industry is getting back to business, there is another battle to overcome.


Specifically, cyberattacks are a constant concern for businesses across all industries and with the construction industry becoming more digitalised, the risks are increasing.


Digital technologies are driving many efficiencies and benefits to the construction industry, from software to collaborate on projects online to using smart equipment, even digital contract approval and payment services. These benefits are helping construction companies to reduce costs and increase productivity, but the cybersecurity risks cannot be ignored.


A Forrester survey revealed that over 75% of respondents in the construction, engineering and infrastructure industries were victims of a cyber incident in the last year. It’s a staggering statistic, and the consequences of such an attack can be significant also. Cyber incidents can vary from minor inconvenience to significant financial, not to mention reputational damage.


Construction companies can be fined and sued if they are found to be non-compliant with data security regulations, as well as risking a PR disaster if the incident is publicised.


Therefore, it is crucial for construction companies to prioritise their cybersecurity strategy to keep their company, clients and suppliers protected from the growing list of cyber risks.


But what are the main vulnerabilities that the construction industry face? How can they reduce their risk? Join us as we share everything you need to know.


What vulnerabilities exist in the construction sector?


Ransomware


Companies have become reliant on the data they collect and store, and where there’s data there’s value for cybercriminals. As such, ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly frequent in the sector, and pose a real threat to continuity for construction companies.


Put simply, ransomware attacks lock data and systems behind strong encryption and demand payment in turn for returning control of the data. Often, these attacks begin with a simple phishing email and a compromised file download.


Social engineering


Social engineering attacks are another high-risk form of a cyberattack; this usually involves hackers impersonating a person, such as a company executive, in order to trick the targeted person into sharing data. These types of attacks prey on well-meaning employees, exposing the vulnerabilities inherent in organisations.


The hacker might send a very realistic looking email with an email address that looks legitimate. In the employee’s eagerness to provide the executive with the requested information, the employee may not follow the data security policies that they would usually follow.


Malware and viruses


Viruses and malware attacks are an all-too-common risk to construction companies, despite the adoption of antivirus software.


Viruses and malware come in many different forms. Check out our complete guide to malware and viruses here.


Reducing cyber risks in the construction industry


Reducing risk requires a multifaceted and holistic approach. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy must be developed to give your company as much protection as possible. Of course, this should include hardware and software protection solutions.


However, these alone won’t protect you from attack, especially with 90% of breaches occurring as a result of human error.


That’s why employee cybersecurity training is so crucial, and why developing a culture of awareness and accountability is required for organisations of all sizes, and in all sectors.


At Bob’s Business, we build brilliantly effective training programmes for all employees, reducing your risk of breach. Your employees will develop the tools they need to protect themselves and your business.



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