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Shielding Your Construction Company: 10 Essential Tips to Defend Against Cyber Threats
As cyber threats continue to surge, construction companies, traditionally seen as less vulnerable, are increasingly becoming targets for malicious attacks. The influx of new technologies and expanded connectivity on construction sites has exposed companies to cybersecurity risks. This guide provides indispensable tips to fortify your construction company against cyber threats, ensuring the integrity of your digital infrastructure.
Understanding Cyber Threats
Before delving into protective measures, it’s crucial to comprehend what constitutes a cyber threat. Cyber threats encompass a range of malicious activities aimed at damaging, stealing data, or disrupting digital operations. Common cyber threats include malware, ransomware, phishing, and more. Construction companies must be vigilant against these threats to safeguard sensitive data and maintain operational stability.
Why OT Security is Crucial
Operational Technology (OT) security plays a pivotal role in defending against cyber threats. OT cybersecurity involves software and hardware that monitors, identifies, and controls changes to industrial systems and networks. Critical infrastructure such as power plants and transportation networks relies on OT security to ensure protection and control against cyber attacks.
Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Construction Company
- Retain Cyber or Legal Experts:
- Have cyber experts and legal professionals on standby for prompt guidance in the event of a cyber threat.
- Establish contacts and procedures to follow in case of a security breach.
- Use More Than Encryption:
- While encryption is essential, supplement it with additional security layers such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or OT cybersecurity systems.
- OT cybersecurity offers best practices to prevent exploitation of cyber-physical and industrial control systems.
- Practice Response to Attacks:
- Conduct regular training exercises to simulate responses to cyber threats.
- Create organizational muscle memory to enhance the effectiveness of responses during actual incidents.
- Secure the Construction Ecosystem:
- Implement a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other security best practices to control access to information.
- Acknowledge the dispersed nature of construction activities and take measures to secure the entire ecosystem.
- Keep Employees Trained:
- Provide periodic cybersecurity training to employees to enhance their awareness of potential threats.
- Educate employees on recognizing malicious emails and suspicious activities.
- Network Monitoring:
- Monitor construction company networks to protect all entry points.
- Receive real-time alerts if an intruder bypasses the network.
- Secure Wire Transfers:
- Ensure secure wire transfers by implementing mandatory phone call verification for passwords or specific digits.
- Tighten security measures around financial transactions to mitigate risks.
- Stay Updated on Tech:
- Assign someone within the team to stay informed about emerging technologies and potential exposures.
- Keeping abreast of technology updates reduces vulnerability and enhances the company’s overall cybersecurity posture.
- Delegate Cyber Security Decision Making:
- Appoint a responsible individual within the company to oversee cybersecurity decisions and access relevant information.
- Clearly define roles, decision-making authority, and information access to streamline cybersecurity processes.
- Protect Employees From Breaches:
- Communicate effectively with employees in the event of a cybersecurity breach.
- Consider the impact on employees, especially those on job sites, and provide necessary support.
Effective cybersecurity demands a multifaceted approach, encompassing threat management frameworks, threat hunting protocols, and threat intelligence. Understanding potential threats, keeping experts at hand, and implementing the right teams, technologies, and processes are crucial for comprehensive cybersecurity. By following these tips, your construction company can significantly enhance its resilience against a variety of cyber threats, fostering a secure digital environment.