The toll data breaches are taking on U.S. businesses is on the rise, and construction firms – especially general contractors – are becoming a more popular target for cyber criminals.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that in 2022 it received more than 800,000 complaints of cyber crimes with losses of around $10.3 billion, up sharply from $6.9 billion in 2021. Phishing was the most common type of complaint received with more than 300,000 reported while business email impersonation scams cost companies more than $2.7 billion last year.
A recent survey revealed that 59% of architecture, engineering and construction firms have experienced a cybersecurity threat in the past two years, including 70% of general contractors. Contractors are not seen as the ultimate target of cyber criminals, however. Most attacks are targeting client data.
Home builders are beginning to see this practice firsthand, as a string of recent data breaches has hit the industry.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it comes at the perfect time for NAHB members to review their data privacy and cybersecurity capabilities.
Businesses need to have a baseline system and processes that protects against intrusions that includes at least:
- Protecting your network by establishing firewalls
- Updating virus protections software/security programs
- Encrypting sensitive business and client data
- Using multi factor authentication, whenever available
- Backing up critical data and applications regularly
- Making sure each employee has unique passwords and/or accounts to ensure accountability for their actions
For more on how home builders can protect their businesses’ and clients’ data, visit the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity page on nahb.org.