September 25, 2019
Imagine a scenario in which a construction executive returns from a planning meeting for one of the company’s largest building projects. He/she is excited about starting the multi-year, multi-billion-dollar project and all the income and publicity that will come with it. Now imagine that an hour later one of the company’s junior IT employees comes to the executive’s door and says that the firm’s IT systems were hacked and the hackers planted a Ransomware virus that completely froze all of the company’s computer systems. The hackers demanded that the firm pays $50,000 in bitcoin, or they will not “unlock” the firm’s computer systems and will erase all data stored on the firm’s IT systems.
Unfortunately, this nightmare scenario is becoming increasingly common in the construction and development industry. Due, in part, to the constant movement of money, frequent turnover of personnel and exposure to critical infrastructure and building system information, hackers are more frequently targeting information stored on and flowing through the IT systems of constructors and developers. Below are some tips on how to handle this growing trend.
When hacked, it is imperative to remain calm and remember to think logically. Construction executives must apply the same analytic skills to this problem as they would to any other construction challenge.
For those companies that have cyber insurance in place and the practice drills and education that comes with it, dealing with the breach will be a somewhat less taxing ordeal. However, for the majority of those in the construction and development industry that have not yet purchased a cyber policy, here are some simple steps to follow:
1 The construction executive and breach counsel should also determine whether to contact the FBI. Most regional offices of the FBI have a specialized cybercrime bureau staffed with knowledgeable agents that want to help. The motto for the FBI recently has been that you are the victim and should be treated as such. The FBI may be able to help at least determine the hackers place of origin, their motives and could possibly have information about the keys to unlock the Ransomware virus—but that is more the exception than the rule.
Reposted from constructionexec.com, September 25, 2019, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.Back to P&A News