5 Ways Your Construction Company is Opening Doors for Hackers
Crafting a Cybersecurity Strategy as Enduring and Solid as Your Construction Work
In an age where blueprints are digital and bulldozers are smart, construction has come a long way from just bricks and mortar. But as we lay foundations with technology, we also unknowingly pave pathways for hackers. If you’re thinking, “Why would hackers target my construction company?,” think again. With the number of vendors involved in each project, multiple financial transactions and confidential plans, the construction industry is a treasure trove for cyber-criminals.
“Old Reliable” May Not Always Be Trustworthy
The Issue: That age-old software your company has been using since forever? It might be a hacker’s best friend. Outdated software often comes with vulnerabilities that are gold mines for the tech-savvy with bad intentions.
The Fix: Keep things fresh. Regularly update your software and consider transitioning to modern cloud-based solutions which often come with added layers of security.
Lack of Employee Training
The Issue: Ever clicked on a link you shouldn’t have? We all have. But in construction, one wrong click could mean compromising an entire project. Employees often serve as the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Without proper training, they can inadvertently open doors to hackers by visiting malicious websites, downloading harmful software or falling for phishing scams, which could mean sending money to the wrong location.
The Fix: Invest in routine cybersecurity training for all employees, emphasizing the importance of strong, unique passwords, recognizing phishing emails and following safe online practices. Make them fun and interactive so the lessons stick. And remember, the goal isn’t to blame, but to educate.
Also, document policies when it comes to changing where money is going, whether that be to vendors, clients or employee’s payroll. Make sure any type of change requires an employee to pick up the phone and contact that entity to verify the change is legitimate. The last thing you want to find out is the change you made was made by a hacker and the money you just sent them is now gone.
Unsecured Mobile Devices & IoT
The Issue: Construction sites often use mobile devices, IoT sensors and other connected tools. IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the interconnection of everyday objects and devices to the internet, allowing them to collect and exchange data. It transforms these objects from being “dumb” or non-interactive to “smart” devices that can communicate, analyze and act upon the data they collect, either independently or in conjunction with other devices. If not properly secured, these devices can provide hackers with an entry point into the company’s network.
The Fix: Guard those digital gates. Use strong, unique passwords for all devices. Consider using mobile management solutions for better control and always, always change default passwords on IoT tools.
Insufficient Network Security
The Issue: As construction firms collaborate with contractors, suppliers and clients, their network can be exposed to various external threats. A weak network can be a goldmine for cybercriminals.
The Fix: Think of your network as your construction site. Would you let just anyone walk in? Invest in a solid firewall, regularly review who has access to what, separate the network, and utilize multi-factor authentication to verify who is connecting and accessing your data. MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) helps protect your data if someone’s credentials are compromised as they must provide another form of authentication.
No Plan B
The Issue: If a breach occurs without a plan, chaos can exacerbate the damage. A quick, efficient response is critical to mitigating the impacts of a cyberattack.
The Fix: Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity incident response and business continuity plans. This should outline the steps to take in case of a breach, including notifying affected parties, isolating compromised systems and coordinating with law enforcement if necessary. They will also allow you to continue operations if something were to happen and mitigate the damage. Regularly review and practice these plans to ensure everyone knows their role in case of an incident.
In construction, a solid foundation is everything. The same goes for cybersecurity. By recognizing common vulnerabilities and implementing proactive solutions, construction companies can significantly reduce exposure and ensure operations remain secure. Investments in cybersecurity not only protects company assets but also builds trust with clients, partners and stakeholders. To discuss improving your technology, contact an Adams Brown Technology Specialist.