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As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, so does their motivation behind choosing which industries to target. The schedule-driven nature of the AEC industry and its desire to avoid as many delays as possible make the industry a high-value target for cyber attackers.

While the industry’s reliance on outdated technology infrastructure has long made it a target from an accessibility perspective, the real value to cybercriminals lies in its need to get back online quickly to prevent falling further behind on projects that could cost a company millions of dollars. That makes the industry susceptible to paying a substantial ransom to minimize system downtime.

In today’s evolving hybrid work environment, companies rely heavily on collaboration through technology— especially in construction, where employees are often spread across offices and jobsites. These platforms have been transformational for real-time collaboration across locations, but without the proper security measures, they can be undermined. Project managers and their staff rely on a multitude of apps, sometimes 10 or more, each with a special purpose on any given project, which in turn provides an increased number of vulnerable entry points for cybercriminals to target.

On average, a cyberattack can take down a company’s systems for 21 days. While problems with a trade contractor or an extreme-weather event can temporarily hurt progress on individual projects, an attack on your company’s network can bring all productivity on all projects to a grinding halt in one fell swoop.

The significant financial losses a company would incur from a three-week system outage are only the tip of the iceberg, because the time lost can also leave lasting reputational damage. In an industry beholden to strict timelines, developers, general contractors and trade contractors with reliable reputations that pose the least financial and reputational risk to a project will win bids. In this increasingly digital-first world, as requirements become more stringent in response to mitigating cybersecurity risks, companies that prioritize and invest time and money in secure collaboration will rise to the top.


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