Commercial and residential builders alike increasingly use cloud-based Internet storage to connect with clients and project managers, exchange information and plans, and do to business with vendors and suppliers. In that regard they’re somewhat similar other big companies – Target, Sony, and Equifax, to name three – that have been attacked by hackers, a national law firm noted Wednesday (June 13, 2018).
That also means the construction industry, which so far has escaped major cyber threats, is no less vulnerable to them, according to the Insurance Recovery Blog of attorneys Hunton Andrews and Kurth LLP. The firm’s practice includes real estate, development and finance; and insurance coverage.
“Sensitive data related to buildings and projects” stored by builders online could prove tempting targets to some hackers, blog authors Michael S. Levine and Alexander D. Russo wrote.
“The more you use electronic platforms, the more vulnerable you’re going to be to hackers who access data improperly or cause harm to a construction project,” they cited Hunton partner Walter Andrews from an interview with Law 360 on cyber risks.
Bad guys might find irresistible the chance to reach other companies simply by attacking one source: the builder that binds them together.
“What makes construction unique from other industries is developers have so many partners they need to share information with and have access to the same data platforms,” Andrews explained. “They have access to your data and you have access to their data, and more importantly, a cyber thief can access your system through theirs and vice versa. That’s what starts to make it unique and create problems.”
One potential answer? Insure against the risk, the blog authors suggested. “Policyholders in the construction industry should look towards specialized cyber insurance that fills any gaps left by more traditional policies,” they wrote.
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