Cyber Security within construction:

Cyber Security within construction:

How much could a security breach cost your business?

As businesses of all sizes become increasingly reliant on digital data, workplace data breaches have become more common, and as a result, have gained widespread attention. In this post, Steve Thomas, Finance and Project Based Accounting Expert at The Access Group, takes a look at cyber security within the construction sector and the potential costs businesses could face.

Cyber security is a big talking point for all SMEs, and the impact can be deadly to any business, with more than half of SME businesses closing operations within six months of an attack due to not being able to recover from the financial repercussions.

The construction industry, in particular, is an attractive target for hackers due to the nature of business. Processing and handling large purchases and financial transfers on a regular basis leaves construction companies at risk – especially without an adequate malware software solution in place.

It is well known that in the past the construction industry has been a victim of many criminal activities; the theft of tools and equipment being one of the biggest violations. According to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), over half of builders in the UK have been victims of tool theft. The survey was based on results from 325 construction SMEs across the UK. But as time has moved on and everything becomes increasingly digitised, it is vital for leaders of construction companies to face the threat of cybercrime and focus attention on the risks and consequences of a potential attack. Many large purchases and financial transfers are conducted digitally, meaning stronger security measures need to be adopted in order to reduce the risk or threat of a data breach.

As John Chambers, the previous CEO of Cisco once said: “there are only two types of companies: those who have been hacked and those who could be”, and the construction sector is no exception to this. Construction businesses – no matter what size – are at risk of several cyber security attacks due to the nature of the business, with the most common including:

  • Malware and viruses
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Password hacking

Having said that, there is a lot that business owners of construction companies can do to help protect their business, such as:

  • Firewalls
  • Cloud hosting for key systems
  • Use secure on-site Wi-Fi
  • Staff training to increase awareness of cybercrime
  • Install email threat detection

What damages and repercussions can a data breach cause?

Currently, £22,700 is the annual average cost for businesses that have lost data or assets after being victims of a cyber attack. This amount would be a drop in the ocean for a multinational, but for SMEs, micro-businesses and sole-traders within the construction sector, it could be the difference between being able to continue trading and going into administration.

Small construction business owners are relatively easy targets for cybercrime as more often than not, they don’t have the budget for a full-time IT employee – or are unaware of the importance and benefits of investing in this type of professional. In this day and age, it is advantageous to create room in the budget to protect your business, cash flow and assets against cyber risks as money is not the only thing at risk – 89% of SMEs reported that a cyber security attack impacted their reputation negatively while 30% reported a loss of clientele.

With the correct security measurements in place and eliminating the risk of a data breach, thousands of pounds could be saved and invested back into the business. £22,700 is a lot of money for an SME, and could fund various assets such as 19 used Ford transit vans for your workers and fleet, 1,305,565 cups of tea to fuel your workers, or even 19 years worth of cyber security prevention.

One thing is for sure, the costs of cyber security breaches can be substantial. What would you spend £22,700 on?


Cyber Security within construction: