Maintaining Security within the Construction Industry

Maintaining Security within the Construction Industry

If you work in the construction industry, you know that there are a lot of changes happening in this field. You might be used to doing a lot of things by hand, but in the digital era, computers, internet connections, and advanced hardware are more common than ever before. Even though new technology has its upsides, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. This technology can make you more vulnerable if you do not prioritize your security, and that is why you need to understand the importance of large, managed file sharing in the construction industry.

What are some of the biggest threats in the digital world regarding the construction industry, and what can you do to mitigate them?

Why Are Construction Companies Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks?

First, it is important to understand what makes construction companies so attractive to cyber criminals. It is not unusual for construction companies to deal with large sums of money, as construction companies often have to take out large loans to finance their projects. Then, there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars that pass through bank accounts quickly, as construction companies often find themselves in the middle, between lenders and possible purchasers.

Furthermore, construction companies have access to valuable financial information. With so many individuals and companies responsible for financing construction projects, these credentials can be attractive to potential hackers. If hackers can get their hands on this financial information, they can use it to steal large sums of money from other people.

Finally, construction is often one of the last industries to modernize. It is not unusual for construction companies to continue to use legacy technology long after it has expired. As a result, construction companies do not often prioritize their security, and it can result in construction companies becoming attractive targets for potential hackers.

For all of these reasons, it is important for construction companies to take a close look at the technology they use and think about how they can protect themselves accordingly.

How Do Criminals Gain Access?

Construction companies often rely on a lot of devices that are closely tied to the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, these devices might be used for security on construction sites, asset tracking, and even machine-wearable technology. This interconnected approach means that there are a lot of potential portals of entry for cybercriminals, and it is crucial for construction companies to work with professionals who can analyze all potential portals of entry and minimize their risk.

There are plenty of ways that criminals could potentially gain access to confidential information on a construction company’s servers. For example, some criminals may use a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), while others might try installing malware or ransomware on the system itself. It is also possible for hackers to explore potential vulnerabilities associated with third parties, and traditional phishing attacks remain a major risk in the construction field.

If construction companies can familiarize themselves with some of these risks, they can be proactive instead of reactive, which can significantly reduce their chances of falling prey to a potential cyber-attack.

What Are the Biggest Threats in the Construction Space?

So, what are some of the biggest threats in the construction industry? Some of the biggest concerns that construction companies and managers need to familiarize themselves with include:

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks remain one of the biggest threats in the construction industry. This type of attack takes place when someone poses as someone else, trying to convince that individual to surrender their login credentials virtually. For example, someone may pose as a manager in the construction industry, and they may try to convince someone to email their username and password.

If a criminal gets their hands on someone else’s username and password, they could use the information to access the server and steal confidential information or damage the server itself.

Some of the ways to mitigate this attack include:

  • Use two-factor authentication to ensure someone cannot gain access purely because they have someone’s username and password.
  • Educate employees on what these attacks look like and how they can prevent themselves from falling victim.
  • Encourage employees to change their usernames and passwords from time to time. That way, if someone does steal someone else’s username and password, that combination will not work forever.

If construction companies can be proactive regarding phishing attacks, they can close off a lot of portals of entry for cybercriminals.

Shadow IT

Another significant risk in the construction industry is shadow IT. What this means is that there are certain devices that could have access to the company’s confidential information that the company does not necessarily control. Some of the most prominent examples of shadow IT include:

  • Construction companies may have a lot of employees who work remotely, and these employees might use their own devices. These devices do not necessarily have the same security measures as the company’s hardware.
  • There are also a lot of employees who are on the go from time to time. These employees still need to access their files, and that means that they could be using connections that are not necessarily secure.
  • Construction companies often have to work with specialized subcontractors, and these subcontractors might not use the same cybersecurity measures.

When possible, construction companies need to encourage people to use a virtual private network, or VPN. This can encrypt a lot of information that criminals might otherwise have access to.

Construction companies also need to encourage people to avoid using unsecured internet connections for company work. That way, they can reduce the chances of the company’s information falling victim to a man-in-the-middle attack.

Ransomware Attacks

Without a doubt, one of the biggest threats in the current environment involves ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks have been in the news a lot recently, and construction companies are commonly targeted by these attacks as well. If a company falls victim to a ransomware attack, its files could be locked up, rendering them useless. Then, they might not be able to get these files back until they pay a ransom.

It is nearly impossible to crack a ransomware attack once it has already taken place, so the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from happening. Some of the best ways to prevent a ransomware attack include:

  • Ensure employees are aware of social engineering and phishing attacks.
  • Run penetration testing on the network from time to time to ensure all potential holes are filled before they can be exploited.
  • Always have backup copies of the information stored somewhere else, not connected to the network, that can be used in the event of a ransomware attack.

Ransomware attacks are only going to become more common, so it is critical for construction companies to make sure they protect themselves accordingly.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

A distributed denial of service attack, can majorly harm construction companies. This type of attack takes place when a criminal tries to overwhelm a server or network with so many commands that it cannot possibly process them at the same time. Then, as a result, the entire network is taken offline. This can lead to significant delays, and it could even damage company hardware, files, and software.

This is another type of attack that is better to prevent instead of fix. It is critical for companies to test their hardware and software from time to time to ensure there are automated mechanisms to shut down this type of attack if it takes place. It could be a good idea to reach out to an expert to do a comprehensive evaluation.

These are just a few of the many threats that construction companies need to deal with in the current environment. One of the best ways to deal with this issue while still ensuring that employees have access to the information they need is to rely on a managed file transfer system.

The Benefits of a Comprehensive File Sharing System in the Construction Industry

Construction companies need to ensure that their employees have access to the files they need to do their jobs, but they also need to ensure that this information is adequately protected. That is where a managed file sharing system can be helpful.

Some of the top benefits of this type of system include:

Granular User Permissions and Administrative Control

One of the greatest advantages of using this type of system is granular user permissions. What this means is that administrators are in control of exactly which files someone has access to and which files they do not. This is not necessarily an all-or-nothing approach.

Construction companies need to make sure that they only give their employees access to the files they need to do their jobs. This is not necessarily a reflection of a lack of trust, but it is an important security measure. If that individual has their login credentials stolen, you don’t want the criminal to have access to everything. Therefore, granular permissions are an important security measure provided by a comprehensive file management system.

Comprehensive Encryption and File Protection

You can also take advantage of comprehensive encryption. Encryption is like a code. When files are encrypted, they are nearly impossible for someone to read. Generally, files are encrypted at the origin and destination, but they are not necessarily encrypted as they move from place to place.

With a comprehensive file-sharing system, all of the files are going to be encrypted from start to finish, meaning that it will be nearly impossible for a hacker to intercept those files in transit.

Automated Workflows

In the construction industry, time is money. Your time is your most valuable resource, and you need to get as much out of it as possible. If you take advantage of a file-sharing system, you get access to a variety of automated workflows that can expedite tasks that you usually do by hand. With access to customizable automated systems, you can save a significant amount of time and make it easier for your employees to access the files that they need.

Unlimited Data Storage and File Sizes

You probably have a lot of large files related to various construction projects. It can make it very difficult for your employees to access them, and it can make it nearly impossible to email the files from place to place.

One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to use a comprehensive file-sharing system. With access to the right system, you can take advantage of unlimited data storage and file sizes, making it easier for you to keep all of your documents organized and up to date.

Access To File Versioning

File versioning is absolutely critical. If you have a long email chain with someone else, how do you know which file is the most recent? How do you know which file you should be working on? With file versioning, you can address this issue.

File versioning allows you to keep track of changes as they are made, and it makes it easier for you to figure out which file is the most recent one. You no longer have to worry about sorting through a large number of documents in an email chain, as you will always know which document you should be referring to.

If you are looking for the best file-sharing system for the construction industry, count on SmartFile to help you.

Rely on SmartFile for All of Your File-Sharing Needs in the Construction Industry

If you are looking for the best file-sharing system in the construction industry, SmartFile is here to help you. We make it easy for you to upload your files and share them with the right people, and you get access to an unlimited number of users, unlimited data storage, and unlimited file size.

If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, contact us today!

SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.