Hackers Find Construction Contractors Data an Attractive Target


admin - January 17, 2020 -

For many contractors, technology is making your business more efficient and profitable. The future is no longer something to look forward to. It’s here now and it’s not going away. Unfortunately, there is another side to technology that makes you vulnerable and for many contractors it’s overlooked until it’s too late – cybersecurity.

Contractors are using technology for payroll, 3D modeling, and payroll – among many other uses. Your companies’ network, computers, devices, and tools are probably all connected to a network. You may have dozens or even hundreds of things connected to a network sharing valuable information at any one moment that a cyber thief would love to get their hands on.

 

What are the Threats

There are three major cybersecurity threats your company faces every day. Your contracting company’s network is different than most business networks because it’s not always located in one place. Instead, it’s often spread out over multiple locations.

Your business’ day-to-day operations are extremely dependent on the network and the data that flows over it.

There are also multiple devices from outside your company that may be coming and going on your network. They handle business information, communications, financial data, construction documents, laser scanners, and cameras that monitor job sites.

Your company is waiting to be hacked and it won’t be hard for a hacker who knows what they’re doing. What kind of hackers might your business face?

 

Foreign Hackers

While you’re thinking no one is interested in your business’ network, you may be very surprised to learn differently. Foreign powers who want to do America harm are looking to hack businesses who may have blueprints to vital business infrastructures, blueprints to buildings or power grids, or communications layouts. They don’t know what you have and what you don’t until they have your data.

 

Company Data and Identity Theft

Stealing personal information is easy money for many hackers. They may be looking for financial information, employee’s personal information, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and more.

Because many contractors are busy working and don’t protect their networks as they should, a contracting company is an easier target than a corporation or government entity.

 

Ransomware

There is a whole group of hackers who are interested in your business even if there is no value to anyone other than you.

If you give it value, then it has value!

Ransomware doesn’t know or care it’s just trying to infect as many computers as possible with a goal of gaining access. Once it a hacker has access to your computer, they can lock your computer and network access and put it under their control. Then, the value to you becomes the issue. Businesses have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get access to their computers and networks from a hacker.

You don’t have to be one of those companies.

 

Stealing the Network Itself

Some hackers aren’t interested in your data at all. They just want your network resources. Some use it for things like mining bitcoin which uses a huge amount of your network’s bandwidth.

They could also be using it for illegal activities that hide who they are and try to make law enforcement believe it’s you.

That could be an uncomfortable meeting!

 

What Should You Do?

You’re not an IT person or these things wouldn’t be an issue for you. The best thing you can do is protect your network and data by securing it against intrusion, detecting intrusion, and blocking it.

The second-best thing you can do is ensure you have some form of cybersecurity insurance. You may never use it, but if you need it you’ll be glad you have it.

Finally, you should take some time to evaluate the cost of contracting with an IT company or hiring someone in-house. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Or, perhaps consider a blend of both.

While nothing is bulletproof, doing something is better than doing nothing.

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