January 17, 2019

How Construction Companies Can Implement a Cybersecurity Strategy

It’s no secret that data breaches are on the rise, regardless of industry or company size. Protecting your business and employees from cybersecurity attacks is a growing concern, especially for small construction companies and contractors. Most construction companies store sensitive project information, including bids, designs and material pricing, on top of their own financial data and employee information, banking records and other confidential information. With all of this information at risk, it’s shocking that on average, 68% of construction companies spend only 1% or less of annual sales on their IT budget, according to JBKnowledge.

Ensuring your company’s data is protected is a daunting task, and requires time, money and resources to stay up on the latest cybersecurity practices. Whether you’re just getting started in the security process, or ready to ramp up your existing strategy, below we cover the necessary pieces to keep your company secure.

Start with the Basics

Starting with the cyber perimeter of your network is a great place to begin the process of securing your company. A few simple steps can make a big difference. Consider implementing:

  • A firewall. A properly configured firewall will take you from being an easy target to having a well-protected attack surface. A firewall should be installed by a certified network engineer. You will also want ongoing technical support and an advanced security subscription to keep your firewall up to date against developing threats.
  • Email with spam filter and multi-factor authentication. Over half of the emails sent globally are spam. A spam filter can help protect against phishing emails and malicious links with strategies to take your password and other sensitive information. Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of security to further reduce cybersecurity breaches.
  • Reputable anti-virus, anti-malware and patching from a service provider. This is the most basic protection of all. Anti-virus and anti-malware protection helps protect computers and servers, but should be supplemented with other tactics to provide a holistic cybersecurity approach.
  • Training. On average, four out of every 100 employees will click on a malicious link presented to them. A cybersecurity training program can shrink that number and provide best practices on how to recognize threats and what not to click on.

Ramp up Your Security

When you have the basics covered, it’s time to look at more advanced practices to help protect your company’s sensitive data. Consider implementing:

  • Annual vulnerability assessment. This assessment provides critical information about possible vulnerabilities. A simple vulnerability test can identify any areas to improve before implementing a penetration test.
  • Annual penetration test. A third-party organization will attempt to find methods for entering your network and finding valuable data. Annual penetration tests can identify weaknesses to improve upon.
  • System information and event manager. This service will filter through logs and find particular events for review and potential remediation, such as failed login attempts and malware activity.
  • Cybersecurity insurance. Be prepared for an incident with cybersecurity insurance. The cost of a production down situation or breach can be staggering for a business, and cybersecurity insurance can help your business recover from data loss if a breach occurs.
  • Backup and disaster recovery. Backup and disaster recovery can save you from losing valuable data in the event ransomware encrypts your data or if data is destroyed. If you have an incident that encrypts your data or deletes your data, you may be relying on a solid backup platform to get things back online. A disaster recovery plan can shrink the impact caused by a ransomware or data deletion event
  • Management/CIO services.With all of the moving parts above, it will require management and coordination. This coordination is not always possible by in-house IT for many reasons. Sometimes providers who run multiple businesses, or even businesses within your peer group may have very valuable strategies to use.

Call in the Experts

Implementing a cybersecurity strategy takes a significant amount of resources to implement and continuously evaluate the effectiveness as new threats arise. Even a dedicated in-house IT employee will most likely need assistance with such a large specialized task. Anders Technology Services offers the tools, training and managed IT services necessary to keep your company protected, now and in the future. Contact an Anders advisor to discuss your specific needs.

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