Cyber Security for the Construction Industry – 7 Steps to Secure Your Business

The construction industry was the most severely affected by ransomware in 2021, according to a new study of leaked ransomware data. A data breach might be damaging due to the industry’s financial flow, supply chain ties, and sensitive data. Construction companies must act now to prevent cybersecurity attacks, even if no solution is flawless.

Here are the ways your firm can protect your data and systems.

What’s Malware?

Malware is malicious software that, once installed, can create major problems such as stealing, erasing, or encrypting your data, locking and rendering equipment inoperable, acquiring passwords to access your software and applications, and even using your system to target other organisations.

Protect Office Equipment From Malware

Use antivirus software, only download programmes from verified sources, and keep your IT systems up to date to avoid falling victim to malware. The first and most simple step in protecting yourself online is to download antivirus software. It’s still the best way to keep your digital devices safe from those looking to exploit them for their own financial benefit.

It’s vital to collaborate with any third parties that use your systems and software to ensure that access is granted securely and monitored in order to prevent becoming a convenient conduit for cybersecurity risks. It’s critical to minimise the use of portable media such as USB drives and external hard drives, which might infect your workplace devices if they’re plugged in.

Back Up Your Data

Regardless of the size of the company, it’s imperative that all vital data be regularly backed up and recovered. That way, even if disaster strikes (such as a flood, fire, or other natural disaster), your firm may continue to operate. You can’t be tricked by ransomware attacks if you have backups of your data that you can swiftly restore.

Keep Employees Trained

It’s also necessary to refresh yours and your employees’ knowledge about cyber security on a regular basis. Doing so enhances the ability of employees to respond to threats. The security of your organisation can benefit from educating your employees to identify common cyber risks, and security awareness enables employees to understand company operations’ weaknesses and hazards. When accessing a computer connected to a company network, your employees must be aware of their duties and responsibilities.

Use Passwords To Protect Your Data

Businesses often ignore the need of password protection and password storage. Employees should be logged off of their devices after inactivity. Another security tip is to avoid using easily guessed passwords. You’d be shocked how many individuals use “password123” as their password.

Email and chat applications should never be used to store or transfer passwords. To keep them safe and secure, use one of the several free password vaulting programmes available today. By using password management software, users may save and exchange the information safely and minimise risks. A great example is LastPass.

Always Update Your Software

New technologies (such as IoT sensors and smart locks) may create new security challenges as the danger of cybercrime continues to evolve. It’s essential that you keep your software up to date so that the most recent security flaws may be addressed. It can take a long time, especially if an update affects features you’ve grown to rely on, but security is the most important consideration.

A lot of software upgrades aren’t merely feature updates. Fixing security flaws is a priority for them. It’s not uncommon for software companies to say that it’s resolving a threat in the release notes of an update. In addition, after the attack has been made public, your system will be susceptible if you don’t repair it.

Dealing with phishing

Email, text messages, phone calls, and social media are all forms of phishing that fraudsters employ to deceive their victims. Scam emails that include a link are the most prevalent. Sending an invoice for a service you haven’t used is a common scam. When you click the file, malware is instantly installed on your machine, you might not even notice. Another method is emails posing as legitimate company correspondence to deceive employees into transferring funds or personal data. Consider your normal operating procedures and how you may help make these techniques less successful.

Preparing for (and responding to) cyber incidents

Preparation against cyber assaults is all about identifying the signals that you’re truly under attack. A few ways to tell if a cyber attack has occurred or is occurring include those listed below.

  • Your computers are taking a long time to load.
  • Your staff have been unable to access their accounts.
  • You are unable to access your files or data.
  • You’ve received messages demanding a payment to regain access.
  • Internet searches have been redirected.
  • You receive strange payment requests.
  • Any additional suspicious behaviour on the account.

Action Fraud is the place to go if you think your organisation has been the victim of internet fraud, scams, or extortion. Action Fraud is the UK’s central reporting point for all forms of fraud and cybercrime. If you’re in Scotland, dial 101 for Police Scotland.

How Cyber Safe is your Architectural, Design or Engineering Firm?

75% of businesses in the construction industry have been hit by cyber-attacks in the last year… how secure is your firm?

By answering just 15 simple questions about your business security, you can gain a better understanding of just how equipped you are to prevent a cyber attack or data breach.

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