Spring is here. As construction work picks up, it’s easy to forget about good cyber hygiene practices. With geopolitical conflicts and everything happening in the world today, it is more important than ever to pay attention to cybersecurity and best practices.
And turning on the news or reading an article it seems breaches are coming faster than ever before. In 2021, there was a whopping 50% increase in overall attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020. Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, there was an all-time peak in weekly cyber-attacks per organization, counting more than 900 attacks per company, according to Check Point Research.
All this to say, 2021 was a bad year in terms of cyberattacks on businesses of all kinds—and it likely isn’t going to improve any time soon, unless we start making a more concentrated effort on our cyber best practices.
We are already seeing a number of attacks in 2022. As one example, recently, Okta, which provides authentication services, has already noted it had been hit by evildoers and these hackers had created more than just a few headaches for customers. Another recent case comes from HubSpot, which experienced a security breach that leaked the personal information of thousands of Bitcoin users after a bad actor obtained access to an employee account and exported data from up to 30 HubSpot portals. Many companies saw customers’ names, emails, and phone numbers being stolen. And these are simply a few instances of recent attacks.
Going forward, we can expect the current uptick to continue as these bad actors are on a mission to create as much havoc as possible. The White House has even issued a warning that cyberattacks may increase during the continued war between Russia and Ukraine.
So, what exactly can construction companies do? Let’s consider a few quick tips to stay secure amid the busier months. Check Point Research points to a few ways to prevent cyberattacks and maintain good cyber hygiene. First and foremost, before we go any further let’s take a deep breathe. We need to focus on action, not reaction, when attempting to prepare for what might happen, not what has happened.
1. Patching: Make sure to update security patches across all systems and software. Too many hackers get in by attacking known vulnerabilities that have a patch that has not been applied.
2. Segmentation: Networks should be segmented. Make sure to use strong firewalls and safeguards between the network segments. This will help contain infections from roaming across the network.
3. Education: How many times have I said we need to educate our employees to be aware of cyber threats? Users need to be able to identify a threat in order to prevent it from occurring. Let’s heighten cyber training in these trying times.
4. Advanced Technology: Today, technology exists to better protect against cyber threats. Think machine learning, sandboxing, anomaly detection, content disarmament, and many more. Two key components to consider are threat extraction and threat emulation. When used together, these technologies can help protect against unknown malware at the network level.
Always double check before you click on that email. Check and check again those emails and links. Sometimes even the best emails are riddled with confusion and the bad guys have tricked you. So, take your time and don’t be lulled into quicksand. You just might find yourself sinking very quickly.
What else would you add? How can we prepare for the busier months while still practicing good cyber hygiene?
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