With the rise of the IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (artificial intelligence), construction companies have big opportunities to leverage emerging technologies, but with it comes the need to keep the data secure. Cybersecurity needs to be continuously measured, reported, and mitigated.

A number of reports show that cyber threats are real and growing. The 2019 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, for instance, reports it recorded 10.52 billion blocked malware attacks in 2018—the most the company has recorded to date in one year. SonicWall also reported a 27% increase in blocked encrypted malware attacks in 2018 and a 217.5% increase in IoT attacks in 2018. SonicWall’s Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection tool reportedly identified 74,290 never-seen-before variants, suggesting adversaries are getting creative to come up with new, unique, and complex attacks.

As another example, Comparitech recently analyzed a decade’s worth of data to discover which states suffer most from data breaches. According to Comparitech’s research, California suffered the highest number of breaches since 2008, more than 1,400, affecting more than 5.5 billion records. Runner-ups are New York and Texas. The total cost of lost or stolen records since 2008 disturbingly amounts to more than $1.6 trillion. The FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report similarly ranks states by the number of internet crime victims and the amount of losses. California tops both lists, with Texas, Florida, and New York rounding out the top four in each case, though in slightly different orders.

Cyber threats disproportionately affect some industries. BakerHostetler’s 2019 Data Security Incident Response Report suggests 17% affected business and professional services, including engineering and transportation.

BakerHostetler’s research also gives some insight into how incidents occurred during the research period. For instance, more than half of the time (55%), the report says an employee was to blame for a breach, with the caveat that often it was an employee mistake coupled with a threat actor’s exploitation that created the issue. A quarter of the time (27%), an unrelated (non-vendor) third party was to blame, and 11% of the time it was a vendor. Occasionally, 5% of the time, the responsible party was a malicious insider.

By keeping up with the latest cyber threat trends, including what types of threats are on the rise, what new variants have been detected, where attacks tend to happen, and how attacks tend to happen, enterprises can be aware of what they’re up against. Armed with this knowledge, construction enterprises can also better know what they can do to protect themselves. To learn more, listen to The Peggy Smedley Show this month or read the latest feature article on Connected World.

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