How secure is your data from cybercrime?

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Demi-Jo Smith, September 29, 2022

A safe workplace is essential. Not only on the construction site, but also when it comes to the digital working environment. Data security is a hot topic as data breaches and data hijacking are, unfortunately, becoming increasingly common. According to research, 46% of SMEs have already experienced some form of cybercrime. And the estimated damage runs into millions.

Construction is the hardest hit sector in 2021, states a report by PwC. One explanation is that 61% of construction companies do not have a clear data policy. 

Construction companies are already under pressure: from price increases to staff shortages. They can’t really use this extra risk. The good news: a few simple steps will get you off to a good start.

Construction is the hardest-hit sector.

Thus, research shows that data security is not high on the agenda of many construction companies. While the consequences can be disastrous for both small and large builders. Fortunately, with a little awareness and some simple steps, you can already save a lot of hassle within your organisation:

1. Make sure colleagues are aware

The vast majority of all incidents stem from human error, such as clicking on a link in a spam email (‘phishing’) or simply asking for login details (‘social engineering’). Informing users of possible dangers and making clear agreements with each other, can already reduce the risk to a very large extent.

2. Security: arrange for data to be backed up in the cloud

A backup is a spare copy of files and information. That copy comes in handy when something unexpectedly goes wrong when a colleague accidentally clicks on a wrong link. And because computers can break down, it is advisable to host that backup in the ‘cloud’. Because for security reasons, you actually want that data to be in at least three locations. One location where something can go wrong, one that your solution can automatically fall back on and a third location for absolute security. That way, you make sure you’re back online in no time.

In doing so, you do run the risk of files wandering around.

3. Share files securely

Many software solutions let you easily share files. But in doing so, you are decreasing you data security: you do run the risk of files wandering around. So always choose specialised software, where you can specify who has access and at what level. You could also consider adding a password and time lock to a file for extra data security.

In practice, the architect can then modify drawings, for example, while the contractor can only view them while the project is active. Another additional convenience of such a specialist package: the project manager keeps the historical overview of what has been shared, with whom and how often a file has been viewed. This way, you can also always fall back on an old version of a file.

4. Work with a partner

By using a cloud solution, you can outsource the technical execution of security. This way, you can be sure that file storage and sending data runs over a secure connection, that the firewall is set up properly and that the certificates are in order. Thanks to the security of a solid foundation for your digital infrastructure, you can focus on your own work. 

Prostream is such a cloud solution: specially developed based on 20 years of experience in the construction industry. The platform helps project managers who have to deliver (construction) projects within budget and tight deadlines, thus relieving them of the burden of data security.
This article was published in BouwPlus.