Cyber Security Threats to Your Business

Businesses must daily deal with cyber attacks like malware and phishing scams

Cyber security threats have long been a concern for financial institutions, healthcare facilities, and major corporations. Yet, many business owners in other industries don’t realize they are also at risk. In 2021, attacks that affected government agencies, shut down the Colonial Pipeline, and stopped production at JBS Foods dominated news headlines. However, there were thousands of successful attacks launched against small to medium businesses during the same timeframe that didn’t make the news. As the cyberattack surface grows, companies of all sizes, within all industries are a target for attack. 

Unfortunately, construction companies could be at an even higher risk. In fact, a ransomware analysis conducted by Nordlocker revealed that construction is the number 1 industry hit by ransomware. To protect your company from these increasing attacks, it’s essential to know what makes your business vulnerable.

Keep reading to find out more regarding the greatest cyber security threats to your company, and how you can protect yourself against them.

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Why Construction Companies are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

Construction companies are required to store and handle a considerable amount of sensitive data in the form of client information, employee information, building specifications, and even government-secured data. While this type of information might not seem as attractive as that of a financial institution or as emergent as shutting down a healthcare facility, the data still holds significant value. Combine this with the fact that many small to medium construction companies seem like an easy target and the growth of technology in buildings and job site tools, and it becomes very understandable why the construction industry is such an attractive target. Consider how these tools and practices might make your construction company vulnerable to expensive and damaging cyber attacks.

The Internet of Things

While you might not know your tools by this description, odds are you use IoT devices in the field. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the title given to cloud-connected tools used in a variety of industries. In construction, this may include asset tracking, worksite security, communication devices, machine control, IP cameras, wearables, etc. These devices are vulnerable because they were designed for efficiency instead of security. 

Document Transfer

Construction is a document-heavy industry. The complicated payroll process, change orders, and third-party vendor communications mean that a variety of sensitive documents must change hands frequently to maintain efficient production in the field. As technology is used more frequently in the industry, the convenience of remotely signed documents and the collection of data from the field has become a necessity. Yet, unsafe document sharing practices can make interception easy for attackers.

A Wealth of Sensitive Data

From the proprietary information in blueprints to client information, construction companies are responsible for keeping private information safe. A breach could reveal crucial information about technology in buildings that could be exploited in the future or vulnerabilities that expose you to liability when client information is leaked. While cloud storage is the best option for most construction companies, many still are keeping their docs in email inboxes.

Construction Office Team Works Together to Learn About Cyber Security

Best Practices for Improving Your Cyber Security Tactics

While no business is completely safe from cyber dangers, there are steps you can take to protect your company. It’s important to be aware of the potential vulnerabilities presented by the software your company uses. It is equally important to educate employees about actions that can protect against attacks. These practices can help you eliminate cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the construction industry.

  • Educate Employees: Phishing is one of the most common ways hackers access a network. Educate employees about common phishing schemes, how BEC attacks work, and good cyber hygiene practices.
  • Invest in Cybersecurity Tools: Third-party cybersecurity providers can help you understand vulnerabilities. Every company has its weak points. A professional can consult on best cybersecurity practices for your business.
  • Secure Your Network: Make sure your Wi-Fi connections are secure and hidden. Use a firewall to protect your network. Create strong password rules and enforce them. Use multifactor authentication for sensitive logins.
  • Use Protected Document Sharing Software: Man-in-the-middle attacks occur when hackers intercept sensitive data during an exchange. Create a specific process using protected tools for document sharing and enforce the use of the policy for all employees.
  • Update Software and Tools: Software updates are designed to eliminate vulnerabilities as they’re discovered. When users fail to implement such updates, devices are left vulnerable to known threats. Additionally, by changing passwords and default settings for IoT devices, you can avoid leaving tools vulnerable to known weaknesses.

Choosing secure software for your business, and not creating unnecessary openings for cybercrime is critical in today’s society. By taking necessary steps like not transmitting sensitive information via email, you can avoid costly data breaches. Learn how your company can use secure cloud software to generate and safely store construction documents right from Flashtract today.

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