Cybersecurity is a concern for all businesses, including the trillion-dollar construction industry. The risk of cybersecurity attacks in construction is higher than in other sectors.

The Extent of the Cybersecurity Risk in the Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry

NordLocker analyzed 1,200 companies spread throughout 35 industries. The UK- and Netherlands-based firms found that construction is the most likely to be affected by ransomware cyberattacks.

Concern for Companies of All Sizes

No construction company is too large or too small to be targeted by a cyberattack. Large companies are more commonly targeted, as the hackers can make more revenue per attack.

However, smaller companies offer the appeal of having less robust security protocols. This tends to make them easier to attack successfully.

The Most Common Attack Routes

Cybercriminals use a range of attack routes and strategies to target construction firms. These include:

  • Email communications
  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • Siegeware (targeting smart building technology)
  • Jobsite drones
  • Jobsite robotic devices

As the level of technology used on construction projects increases, so do the potential areas for cyberattacks. The final two in the above list, jobsite drones and robots, are prime examples of this.

Explore some of these attacks in more detail.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a common strategy for hackers to take advantage of the trillion dollar construction industry. With ransomware, hackers make computers and files inaccessible. The company must pay a ransom to regain use of them.

Ransomware can come from malicious emails, vulnerable software, and even legitimate websites with compromised security.

While some ransomware attacks are for financial gain, others simply aim to disrupt or delay construction projects. This could prevent your firm from meeting deadlines. The result could be penalties and even lawsuits, depending on your contract.

Spear-phishing, Whaling, and Business Email Compromise

This is a specific type of email attack that targets the executives of your construction firm. It specifically targets those who have access to the company’s finances. The email is usually a phishing message, meaning it claims to come from a legitimate source and asks for bank details or payments.

Supply Chain Attacks

Some cybercriminals take advantage of the vulnerability of supply chains to target companies this way. Supply chains are naturally vulnerable because they have multiple parties involved, and a single point of weakness can cause problems.

Data Breaches

Construction firms have to be aware of several types of data breaches. A common type is one that goes after intellectual property, such as schematics or blueprints. Another common target is personal data. Either can lead to financial distress, including potential fines.

Conclusion

In addition to being aware of the cybersecurity threats, construction firms have to take action to stop them. Consider hiring a dedicated IT or cybersecurity position or outsourcing the role. Your construction recruiter can help you fill this role successfully.

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