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How to Improve IT Security in the Construction Industry

The cost of cybercrime on the global economy has been estimated at $445 billion, according to a study released by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. What’s more, Juniper Research has predicted that the cost of data breaches would increase to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, due to the trend of both consumers and enterprises digitizing their lives and operations.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Corporation’s Chairman, CEO and President, even stated that cybercrime may actually be the greatest threat to every company in the world. Staggering information, right? Unfortunately, the construction industry is not exempt from these threats. From OEM firms with high-value intellectual property to construction management firms – everyone today is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.


Robert Simpson, director of IT at Gray
Robert Simpson, director of IT at Gray


How to mitigate your cyber risk


While there is no magic potion to avoid such crime, there are steps firms can take to lessen their risk. Here are three things to keep in mind:


    1. Businesses must educate themselves about potential cyber threats


Being aware is critical to knowing what could happen and preventing it. Have your IT department allot a specific amount of time for researching risks and becoming familiar with trending scams. It would also be wise to have them send out periodic notifications within the entire firm to keep all team members on alert.


    1. Layers of security in antivirus software, internet content-filtering and data backups are key to keeping your data safe and secure


These steps may receive pushback within your firm and are, no doubt, somewhat cumbersome, but if they prevent a breach in your company’s private information, they are more than worth the extra effort.


    1. Limit the access team members have


As with many industries, human resource management within an organization is just as important as IT management. Humans are the weakest link in almost any organization’s security. Your IT team can put as much technology as they want into place, but if you have people with little security awareness and unlimited access, there is not much you can do if they intentionally (or unintentionally) circumvent your security measures.


To ensure that the appropriate control measures are in place, it’s crucial  to communicate a crisis plan that informs everyone  what to do so that panic doesn’t set in if something was to in fact occur.


At Gray Construction, our first core value is: “We put safety and quality of life first.” In construction, this value is readily equated to the jobsite, but we like to apply it to every aspect of our business, including our IT security. Will you join our #SafetyFirst initiative and strive to keep the construction industry secure?

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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