In an age where companies are steadily shifting to digital technology to streamline the way they do business, the importance of cyber security is becoming more evident. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute, “7 out of 10 organizations say their security risk increased significantly in 2017.”
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the construction industry, where we are seeing more companies integrate technology into how they do business. Construction management software (CMS) for example, which businesses depend on to track schedules, manage equipment, send contracts, even do accounting, runs in the cloud. Without the proper security measures in place, this leaves important and sensitive business data vulnerable to cyber attacks.
To determine where your company stands in terms of cyber security, check any of the statements below that apply to your company —
- I provide cyber awareness training for all employees — including in-house administrative teams, field employees, on-site teams, and even key stakeholders.
- I have installed and updated antivirus and antispyware software on every computer in the office, including mobile devices used by the company.
- I use a reliable firewall for my Internet connection.
- I have downloaded and installed the most recent software updates for all my desktop and mobile devices operating systems and apps.
- I have backup copies of all important and critical business data.
- I can easily control physical access to sensitive business data, inside and outside the office.
- I am able to control digital and cloud access to important and sensitive business data.
- I have made sure that the office WiFI networks are hidden and secure.
- I provide individual login user accounts to each employee.
If you left one or more of the boxes above unchecked, then you might be leaving your business vulnerable to potential cyber attacks. To mitigate risk and exposure, here are some guidelines that can be implemented in your company:
1. Ensure that you regularly backup data that’s stored offsite.
This is critical for companies whose operations are dependent on CMS. All important business data — blueprints, plans, permits, documents, accounting and financial details — are accessible via a single platform. For whatever reason, you are unable to access the information you need — whether due to a system failure, virus or malicious attack — make sure you have a backup of all the necessary files you need to maintain seamless operations.
2. Don’t be complacent about Internet security
Don’t assume that just because you’re a small to medium enterprise, you’re not a prime target for cyber attacks. In fact, studies suggest that small business owners are actually bigger targets. A Symantec study found that “40 percent of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees.”
To minimize the potential risks, take proactive measures to strengthen your network security. To begin with, make sure that your antivirus software is regularly updated. This will help detect potential threats and identify suspicious emails even before they can compromise your system.
3. Use only reliable software and OS
Use well-known security software on every computer that is used by your company, including mobile devices, to protect against potential threats. Be sure to install a firewall and check that all devices are running on updated operating systems.
4. Employ clear guidelines and policies in the workplace
Employees can’t watch out for something that they don’t even recognize is a risk. This emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about the possible threats.
This means you have to train your team about the risks that they face. Establish clear guidelines and policies about how to prevent a breach or what they can do in case it does happen.
What other tips do you have to ensure cyber security for your construction business? We’d love to hear all about it.
Interested in getting a secure and reliable management software for your construction company? Contact us for more information.