Cyber Security Tips for Construction Firms

May 10, 2018

Think big corporations and government agencies are the only entities that have to worry about cyber security?

Don’t be complacent, says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Every company that is connected to the Internet is a potential target for hackers.

Cyber security has become more complex, as malware attacks have continued to skyrocket, with ransomware leading the charge. As a result, AEM has published a number of pointers on cyber security and threat awareness.

First, the association suggests committing to a cyber security strategy.

Routine data backup is the most effective counter to any ransomware demand, says Scott Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems. “User behavior has not changed fast enough to keep pace with the onslaught of attacks.”

Effective cyber security also requires everyone in the company to participate.

Key steps include:

  • Cyber awareness training for all employees
  • Teaching good cyber hygiene throughout all levels and departments, in the office, and at the job site
  • Enlisting a qualified third party to help train and test staff.

They also suggest it’s never overkill to keep the most basic of tactics in mind. Be proactive and diligent, putting the following basic controls and protocols in place:

  • Create a regular backup plan for all data stored offsite.
  • Use only name-brand security software that automatically updates on every computer, tablet, and laptop to combat the latest threats.
  • Update all operating systems regularly and never use unsupported outdated software.
  • Verify all firewalls have the latest security patches installed.
  • Ensure all network mobile devices have both hardware and software encryption with a long and strong password or PIN required for access.
  • Verify the Wi-Fi network within the company and at the job site is secure, encrypted and has a long and strong password. Set up MAC filtering to accept only pre-approved employee devices.

Reinforce these controls and protocols through regular training sessions to help all employees so that “thinking cyber” becomes part of everyone’s daily job requirements.

“By raising awareness, employees will realize the importance of slowing down to question anything that seems a bit off,” Schober says.

If cyber security concerns seem complex today—just wait. They will only continue to grow as technology evolves and impacts organizations at every possible level.

Taking the time now to invest in cyber security training and prevention methods, the association says, can help ensure your company and job sites remain safe and secure in the future.