A major contributor to the U.S. economy and local communities, the construction industry is expected to reach a global value of nearly $13 trillion this year. At first glance, it may not appear to be a prime target for cybercriminals, but just like all other industries, it isn’t immune to cybersecurity risks. While businesses across all industries experience cyberattacks, the construction industry faces the most ransomware attacks, according to research conducted by file encryption software firm NordLocker. Why is that? Threat actors know it is lacking in cybersecurity.
In this article, we outline the top threats the construction industry faces today and how to mitigate risks with a reliable business continuity plan. Let’s take a closer look.
Top Industry Threats
Ransomware is just one of many threats that can wreak havoc on business operations and reputations. Although nearly half of all construction executives admit their companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks, 68% of firms have no cybersecurity measures in place. When faced with a cyberattack, natural disaster, equipment failure or technology interruptions — preparation is the key to mitigating risks.
Here’s a look at the top threats construction companies face today:
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a form of malicious software (malware) that encrypts a user’s files and prevents victims from regaining access until they pay up. Cybercriminals may even exfiltrate a copy of the data prior to encryption and threaten to leak or sell if the ransom is not paid. Adopting a zero-trust security framework and ensuring employees use strong passwords along with multi-factor authentication are a few simple ways to bolster your cyber defenses.
- Social Engineering: Considered one of the most dangerous forms of attack, social engineering relies on manipulation and human error to expose confidential information. Phishing is the most common type of social engineering where hackers attempt to steal personal information or infect devices with malicious software known as malware. Providing cybersecurity training for all employees is an effective way to strengthen your human firewall and fend off subtle threats that rely on human error. You can learn more about identifying common phishing email red flags in our email security guide here.
- Downtime and Equipment Failure: Downtime is a costly challenge for every business. When project deadlines are on the line, there’s simply no time for equipment failure or compromised systems. To help prevent costly downtime, be sure to keep all software and networks up to date, and back up critical data routinely. Conducting a risk assessment, taking a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity and partnering with a trusted IT provider will help you identify and mitigate emerging threats.
Why Every Business Needs a Business Continuity Plan
While it may be tempting to think, “my business is too small to be hacked” or “my office isn’t likely to be flooded in a 500-year floodplain,” natural disasters and cybercrime are on the rise. Although you may not be able to predict the future or prevent difficult situations from surfacing, you can prepare for the unexpected by knowing the risks in your environment. That’s where having a reliable business continuity plan comes in, to help guide you through any chaos that comes your way.
In a nutshell, a business continuity plan is a strategy that provides operational guidelines for your business to follow during an unforeseen disaster. An integral part of business risk management and over all IT strategy, its goal is to keep operations up and running or quickly restore them during a major disruption. By identifying potential risks, outlining critical operations and clearly defining roles among your team, you’ll be better prepared to minimize downtime and keep operations afloat during times of crisis.
There will always be newfound challenges in the business environment, but with the right tools, resources and support team you’ll be equipped to strategically mitigate risks when disaster strikes. From cybercrime to natural disasters to equipment failure, there are many factors that come into play when managing a crisis. At IronEdge, we help Texas-based construction companies improve operations and mitigate IT risks that can stunt productivity and growth. Our team is here to help you develop a business continuity and cybersecurity plan that monitors, minimizes and addresses IT risks – allowing you to improve operations and propel your business forward.
Don’t wait until a disaster strikes — Chat with one of our IT specialists today to protect your firm from today’s emerging threats.