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Has Your Firm Acquired Cybersecurity Certificates Yet?

Recently, the NFB released a survey report on technological transformation and cybersecurity insights. It highlighted the performance improvements brought about by digitization while shedding light on the looming threat of cyber-attacks that pose significant risks to construction firms’ digital infrastructure.

Based on the NFB’s insights, 24% of respondents reported being targeted by cyber-attacks, while 20% were uncertain. This might not seem like a considerable number but with the construction industry’s increasing digitization and the prevalence of ransomware threats, it calls for the need to implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect operations and sensitive data.

Cybersecurity certifications for construction firms in the UK

Cybersecurity is of utmost importance for construction firms in today’s digital age. Construction companies manage sensitive information including project details, financial data, and personal information of clients and employees. Therefore, implementing appropriate cybersecurity measures is crucial to safeguarding their operations and maintaining the trust of stakeholders.

Cyber Essentials, a UK Government-backed cybersecurity scheme, protects organizations against various prevalent cyber-attacks. The NFB’s report revealed that approximately 42% of respondents did not possess Cyber Essentials certifications, while 33% were uncertain about their firm’s certification status. These findings emphasize the potential lack of awareness among construction firms regarding the availability of protective schemes against common cyber attacks. 

he NFB's report revealed that approximately 42% of respondents did not possess Cyber Essentials certifications, while 33% were uncertain about their firm's certification status.

Cyber Essentials and How to acquire them

Cyber Essentials features two certification levels – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials certification is a low-cost option and can be obtained through a validated self-assessment. The organization assesses its own Cyber Essentials control themes through a questionnaire that is approved by a senior executive like the CEO.

An independent Certification Body then verifies the questionnaire to determine if the appropriate standards are met. If everything is in place, the certification is awarded to the firm. 

Cyber Essentials Plus

Acquiring Cyber Essentials Plus involves thorough testing of the organization’s approach to cybersecurity. Vulnerability testing is done, both remotely and on-site, to ensure the claimed controls effectively defend against basic hacking and phishing attacks. This rigorous assessment is recommended for higher-risk scenarios. This certification is costlier than the Cyber Essentials certification.

Cyber Essentials certifications are crucial for firms seeking to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. By attaining them, firms demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating risks associated with cyber threats. Furthermore, some government contracts mandate Cyber Essentials certifications, making them a prerequisite for firms planning to work on such!

Bring in a cybersecurity expert!

One significant aspect of cybersecurity for construction firms is securing network infrastructure. This involves establishing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption protocols. To do these things, firms need to assign an expert, one who possesses the knowledge, skills, and expertise to identify vulnerabilities and respond effectively to potential breaches

In the NFB survey, 49% of respondents stated having a designated person accountable for cybersecurity, while others either lacked such accountability or were unaware of their firm’s status.

Having a cybersecurity expert on board demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing security and instills confidence in the organization’s ability to protect data and maintain operational continuity. Moreover, a cybersecurity professional can provide valuable training and education to employees, raising awareness about best practices and potential threats. By investing in a dedicated cybersecurity role, organizations can significantly strengthen their overall security posture and safeguard against potential cyber threats. 

Furthermore, regular assessments of risks allow organizations to proactively identify vulnerabilities, assess potential threats, and implement appropriate security measures to safeguard their systems and data. This way, the construction industry can confidently digitize and reap the benefits of modern technology while keeping their data secure!

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