Construction, Security

Cloud Security + MSPs: Is Your Construction Company Covered?

Chaz Hager September 03 2021

Construction companies have a multitude of tasks to manage during the course of regular business operations. From communicating with clients to hiring subcontractors to oversee safety and compliance, these tasks are essential to growth. As a result, some equally important tasks related to cloud and cybersecurity may fall by the wayside.

Unfortunately, failure to protect vital software systems can result in costly expenses, security risks, and damaged reputation. If your construction company needs a way to outsource cloud security tasks, a managed service provider (MSP) could be the best choice.

What is an MSP for Construction?

A managed service provider (MSP) helps businesses facilitate important tasks related to technology and IT infrastructure. Although any industry can benefit from the convenience and expertise found in managed services, construction companies have unique business needs.

A managed service provider for construction companies can oversee the following activities and business processes.

  • Cloud file sharing – Access important files and documents from anywhere, at any time, with secure logins and portals.

  • Project management – Streamline the entire project lifecycle with better internal communication and more effective workflows.

  • Data archiving – Replace outdated paper and manual processes with digital files and workflows that are updated in real-time.

  • Construction cybersecurity and compliance – Mitigate incoming risks from outside threats while adhering to important industry regulations.

Cybersecurity Trends in the Construction Industry

Cybercrime rates are on the rise within the construction industry. Small firms and large corporations are both at risk, and each one is liable for any cyber security issues that happen on their watch. Leadership and staff should be aware of the following risks and learn how to take steps to prevent them.

Cyber Attacks

Major hacking attempts against construction companies have been documented as far back as 2015. Some of the most notable cases involving major construction firms (Bird Construction and Bouygues Construction) took place in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Ransomware and malware attacks are the primary methods used to target construction companies. A managed service provider can help companies spot red flags, create response plans, and prevent future attacks.

Breach of Intellectual Property

Construction companies often store confidential and sensitive data. Some of this information is in the form of intellectual property. Consider the potential risks associated with engineering plans, blue prints, and schematics falling into the wrong hands.

A suitable MSP provides expertise for securing this data and closing any vulnerabilities that exist in the network.

Internet of Things (IoT)

In the Internet of Things era, a greater number of wifi-powered devices means that there are more ways than cybercriminals can attack. When contractors move sensitive information to cloud-based servers, it’s extremely important to protect the entire ecosystem. This process should involve a thorough inspection of smart devices as a way to prevent unauthorized access.

Why Should Construction Companies Prioritize Cybersecurity?

First, construction companies should focus on cybersecurity in order to stay current in the modern marketplace. Cloud computing and mobile data usage are increasingly popular ways to solve common business challenges. These tools should not be used, however, without prioritizing security.

Additionally, construction companies should prioritize cybersecurity because the potential costs and damages are significant. The average cost of a serious data breach can exceed $150 million, and many construction companies may not be able to endure such an expense.

  • Protecting vulnerable data (particularly for students and minors)
  • Establishing community trust and reputation
  • Safeguarding staff and faculty information
  • Creating safe and flexible options for virtual learning
  • Saving valuable time and resources by outsourcing to cybersecurity experts

5 Ways MSPs Can Help Your Construction Company Gain a Competitive Edge

Advantages of Using an MSP

By using a managed services provider, construction companies can benefit from the expertise of highly trained IT experts who have the time and resources required to do the job well. MSPs can also offer the following benefits to construction firms.

  • Modernize outdated work processes – By bringing manual workflows up to the modern age, construction companies are more suited to handle present-day technological challenges.

  • Outsource tasks that fall outside of industry specialty – Executive leadership may want to focus more on construction services, rather than on IT and data security. Outsourcing allows construction companies to do what they do best.

  • Increase flexibility out in the field – Workers, contractors, and site managers rely on mobile compatibility for devices and flexibility when it comes to technology. If your company struggles to provide these options, an MSP can help.

Cybersecurity and Marketplace Competition

Remember, construction companies are in the business of servicing clients. If those clients can’t trust the digital processes of a certain company, or if another company offers more security and assurance, it’s easy to lose business opportunities and potential contracts.

Although larger construction firms often have more resources to devote to cybersecurity and infrastructure, small and mid-size construction companies may even be more at risk. Because hackers know how to expose vulnerabilities in companies with limited resources, small businesses should be diligent to protect digital assets.

Key Takeaways

Prioritizing cyber security in the construction industry is vital for longevity, compliance, and business growth. There’s never been a more appropriate time to start investing in managed services that can help reduce risks, improve outdated processes, and bring more digital innovation to your construction team. 

Learn how Northriver IT can help your construction company shield against cloud and cybersecurity threats. Check out our Construction Industry Spotlight page, or contact our team directly to optimize your operations today.

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