As the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry embraces digital transformation, they are reaping many benefits. Unfortunately, they are also being exposed to additional threats inherent in working in a digital environment. While construction firms and their kin are more reluctant to rely on digital technologies, they are also slower to understand the vulnerabilities associated with these tools.
Cyberthreats are at an all-time high and the threat landscape is only expanding as cybercriminals develop new and more insidious ways of accessing data. Because construction firms rely on large amounts of data in order to complete complex construction projects — data that is often shared among hundreds or even thousands of workers in some cases — they can be targets of opportunity for cybercriminals.
To both gain access to tech tools that will help construction firms complete projects more quickly and with fewer errors and keep sensitive data safe, AEC firms should consider cybersecurity as a primary directive for daily business.
The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Facing Today’s Construction Organizations
Theft or loss of corporate information can be a huge problem for construction firms, but so can the possibility of downtime and broken business continuity that can result from data breaches, ransomware, and other cyber threats.
Here are several other reasons construction firms must have strong cybersecurity in place:
The most prominent threat to construction firms is ransomware. Part of the reason why AEC firms are such prime targets is their relatively low awareness of cybersecurity risks. A ransomware attack can be designed to interrupt the supply chain associated with construction projects, extort money as payment for release of data, and slow or halt entirely the work being done on the project. Typically, ransomware software is downloaded onto systems after a breach, or when someone clicks on a fraudulent link in an email or a suspicious attachment.
- Email Fraud
Construction projects are group endeavors, with construction firms employing many suppliers and subcontractors to facilitate job completion. In advance of any project, there is typically a public bidding process that offers detailed information about the winning companies and about the project itself. Given this information and that each member of the team is paid separately for their part in project completion, there is a high probability of wire fraud. Cybercriminals simply send emails that are cleverly disguised as legitimate requests for wire transfer or invoices and have monies transferred to their own accounts rather than the account of the legitimate payee.
Phishing is a technique by which cybercriminals gain access to card numbers, access keys, or personal information to gain access to data. This can be through emails, texts, letters, or even personal contact. The criminals may disguise these messages as official correspondence and will typically ask victims to click a link, open an attachment, or confirm specific information.
To protect against any of these incursions, construction firms must have strong cybersecurity defenses in place, coupled with routine employee education regarding evolving threats and smart cyber hygiene practices.
Let Blue Technologies Provide Leading-Edge Cybersecurity for Your Construction Firm
At Blue Technologies, we understand the benefits digital transformation can bring to AEC firms, but we also comprehend the pitfalls associated with a more digital profile. That is why we have curated the latest cybersecurity technologies and tools from industry leaders in the field of data protection.
Not only can we protect your construction firm from evolving cyber threats, but we can ensure strict compliance with applicable regulations such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), ISO 27001, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. Using state-of-the-art monitoring technology alongside routine maintenance and updates, we provide rigorous protection from malicious actors. In addition, we offer ongoing education and troubleshooting to keep your infrastructure, your information, and your business safe from harm.
Take advantage of digital efficiencies the safe way. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and discover how our cybersecurity and compliance team can help keep your construction firm safer and more secure.