How to improve the cybersecurity of your construction site

Cybersecurity is relevant to every business today, not just those that are built on a digital premise. Given the wealth of technology employed on every construction site – and the increased automation and digitisation likely to arrive in the coming years – robust cybersecurity is essential. So, what can you do to improve the cybersecurity of your construction site?

Awareness is key

The amount that is lost to extortion, downtime and theft now reaches trillions every year – and these losses from cybersecurity breaches are forecast to rise over the coming 12 months. Data is a crucial part of any construction business that needs to be protected and any systems on-site that could potentially be breached also need to be a focus of defensive measures. This all starts with awareness of the potential risks to the business. Currently, the three biggest cybersecurity threats are:

  •  Phishing. This is where cybercriminals look for people or habits they can exploit in order to get access to systems or data.
  • Ransomware. All it takes is one person to click on a link or open a file and a ransomware programme can be unleashed that locks systems and data away until a fee is paid.
  • Wire transfers. Many construction businesses use these every day and they are increasingly becoming a target for cybercriminals. Fake invoices or phone calls demanding payment to avoid dire consequences can convince construction businesses to hand over large amounts of money to scammers.

How can your construction business put better cybersecurity safeguards in place?

  •  Use multi-factor authentication. Where this is implemented it will mean that there are multiple steps necessary when someone is logging in from a new device. This puts a lot of obstacles in the way of the cybercriminal when trying to access your data and systems and significantly increases the chances that they will simply move on to another victim.
  • Establish resilient processes for usernames and passwords. Gone are the days when “password1234” provided any real protection – and yet many people still use it. The more complex usernames and passwords are, the harder it will be for anyone to figure out what they are. Equally vital is changing both on a regular basis so that it’s much more difficult for anyone to guess either.
  • Use a system of multiple backups. This is especially useful when it comes to a ransomware attack. If you have multiple back-ups of files in multiple locations then you will be able to access another version of your systems and data if one becomes compromised.
  • Ensure you implement regular training. Your people can either be your best resource or your biggest vulnerability when it comes to cybersecurity. One way to ensure that they are an asset to the business is to provide regular training, especially in terms of what the latest threats are to your business and what action needs to be taken if someone spots an issue.

Cybersecurity is a key objective for any construction site today – these are some of the steps you can take to generate better defences.

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