Cyber-attacks are a prevalent threat to individuals, businesses, and institutions, including industrial demolition services. Cyber-security isn’t just wise—it’s a necessary course of action given the havoc that hackers can wreak. Even if an attacker doesn’t intend to cause physical harm, she or he may be hoping to obtain valuable corporate data, such as trade secrets, intellectual property, or any other information that could be used for a competitive edge.
Any company that is hooked up to the web is a possible hacking victim. Large financial institutions are the most common targets, as seen in 2014 when a data breach at JP Morgan exposed the information of seventy-six million people. Other large businesses breached by hackers include Home Depot, Staples, Sony, and the U.S. Postal service. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study predicted that cyber security breaches will grow by 48% in 2015, culling 1-3% of our nation’s overall GDP. Industrial demolition companies may not seem like prime targets, but in reality the risk of a data breach is very real.
Industrial demolition companies are attractive targets because they maintain the contractors’ financial data and channel large sums of money through banks. The aftermath of a cyber-attack could be devastating to any business, resulting in:
- Destroyed servers, infrastructure, and data.
- Theft of intellectual data, such as owners’ plans, virtual construction data, and security design.
- Identity theft for employees, if HR data is stolen.
Security breaches often destroy businesses. As Forbes has reported, 60% of small businesses close within six months of a cyber attack.
The attacker may not be interested in the company’s information, but may use a system weakness as an avenue to access other information systems—such as banks and government institutions. Personal employee data could be stolen, or a hacker might be aiming to use a demolition contractor’s slack cyber-security to access sensitive financial or governmental information.
The most important aspect of cyber-security is preparedness. Companies should have a plan outlining company steps in the event of a cyber-attack, through:
- Incident Response Policies: create a protocol roughly based on disaster response plans, but tailored to the specific characteristics of cyber-events.
- Designated Leadership: An incident response policy is most effective when the people responsible for executing it understand their roles and are cable of fulfilling their duties. There should be designated roles for each aspect of the response process and designated points of leadership. The response team should be made up of people representing all key stockholders within the organization.
- Communication Protocols: Employees must understand what needs to be communicated to whom. For instance, you might have a different communication rules for contractors than you do for communicating with the public.
- Employee Training: Cyber-security training should be given to all employees and additional training must be allotted for the cyber-incident response team.
- Cyber-Exercises: Simulated cyber-exercises ensure that incident response policies are effective, and that procedures are understood across the organization. This sort of exercise can also reveal the need for third-party security vendors.
While it is impossible to be completely protected, demolition companies should integrate cyber-security into their IT departments, to prevent potential breaches.
Cyber-security is key in ensuring any company’s viability and the safety its employees and clients. Industrial demolition contractors are no exception to that rule.