5 Ways to Secure Your Construction Business Sensitive Data
On the dark side of the web, cybercriminals have found a new favorite target — the construction industry.
With a billion-dollar client base and little tech-savvy, construction companies are the perfect prey for malicious threat actors.
So for today, let’s take a look at how and why building companies need to protect their sensitive business data…
5 data security safeguards for construction businesses
If you think your company is safe just because you’ve never been breached, think again. It may happen if you don’t have a strong enough line of defense.
Employ each of the following safeguards to keep online thieves at bay.
Your biggest security risk in or out of the office is public Wi-Fi vulnerability. As the Wi-Fi on worksites is often unencrypted or password-free, it’s easy for passerbys to connect to and then manipulate the network.
Guarantee a secure internet connection in-office and on-site with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your routers or on the employees’ individual devices.
If you’re looking for a VPN definition, it stands for a Virtual Private Network. A VPN encrypts all data that passes through it, essentially making it unreadable to any potential intruders. Even if they have a chance to grab some confidential data in transit, VPN encryption ensures it can never be read.
As we shift into a world dominated by technology, it’s natural that construction businesses need to get used to the digital world, too. As you’re handling so much client data, finding a secure backup and storage option is crucial.
Cloud-based storage is becoming the most accessible and secure form of remote data storage. This way, sensitive business data is available at a click but far from the hands of any bad actors.
Every modern company that handles large amounts of data needs to define who can access it. In cybersecurity, this is called user-access control, and it aims to limit the users who can access sensitive data to the minimum possible amount.
Not only is this important for day-to-day security, but it comes in handy if a disgruntled employee is fired. If you limit the employee’s user access, they can’t run away with any confidential data to sell it to competitors.
While we’d advise briefing your entire staff on beginner cybersecurity practices, at the least, you should train up your management team. They have all the access to sensitive data, making their online actions much more important.
Construction management staff should be briefed on:
* Social engineering: Persuasive techniques used by scammers (e.g., phishing) to steal sensitive personal or business data.
* Malware and other viruses: These destructive creations hide in email attachments and downloads from malicious websites.
* Cyber attacks and defenses: From DDoS to MITM, your staff should be well aware of the types of attacks to expect and how to avoid them.
* Industry standards: Depending on where you operate, certain data regulations are essential to explain to management (e.g., the EU’s GDPR laws).
You can do everything in the book to protect your construction business from cyberthreats. Interestingly, even the strongest cybersecurity practices mean nothing if the third parties you operate with are breached.
The final step in 360° cybersecurity coverage is secured third parties. You can choose to require a certain level of security from clients and partners or simply include a cybersecurity clause in all of your business contracts.
Why should construction companies secure their data?
Sure, you get it… these online threats can affect any company. But why, out of all industries, should a construction business consider their data security?
Dodge financial losses from cyberattacks
Let’s face the facts: perhaps a bigger cost than the stolen data itself is the price of cyberattack recovery. As of 2023, the average cost of a cyber attack within the US has almost reached $10 million.
So, depending on the type of attack, you could be looking at bigger financial losses during the recovery process than in stolen assets.
Protect confidential client and business data
First and foremost, high-grade cybersecurity promises to protect your business and your client’s data. Whether it’s payment data or plans for a rival shopping mall, some competitors will do anything to grab hold of your confidential data.
One leak leads to exposed bank accounts, corporate espionage, or even stolen clients. Cybersecurity stands between your private data and this eventuality.
Improve your reputation and trust with your clients
Similarly, a single leak can mean the end of a long-standing and important client. The larger they are, the more likely your client is to treasure your cybersecurity efforts.
This not only builds trust with your existing client-base but spreads your company’s secure reputation to many other possible clients.
Mitigate damage from ex-employees and competitors
As mentioned earlier, a single disgruntled employee or suffering competitor can destroy your business. The construction industry can be cut-throat, and often, only the strongest companies survive.
Cybersecurity is an under-utilized reinforcement that modern construction businesses require. With the power of user-access controls, virus scanners, and threat-detection software, your company’s foundation becomes strong and durable.
Just because you work in the construction industry doesn’t mean you won’t be targeted by cyber crooks.
As a huge chunk of businesses move online, construction companies need to invest in their cybersecurity to mitigate a wide range of cyberthreats.
Remember, a strong foundation in cybersecurity not only protects your data but also enhances your company’s reputation and trustworthiness in the eyes of clients and partners.
Let’s lay the bricks of safety one digital block at a time!