In its advisory entitled “New Business Models, Technology Raise Professional Liability Risks for Contractors,” Chubb has outlined the risks of cyber threats associated with new technologies being used by the construction industry.
As with other industries, the construction industry is increasingly utilizing the Internet and technology in its day to day operations. This includes building information modelling (BIM) software, customer data, personal information, critical infrastructure designs, and industrial control systems information.
The increased use of technology and software in design and building, and storing the data in the cloud, increases the risk of data exposure for contractors. For instance, BIM software programs include designs, building plans and project files, all of which are valuable to hackers. As such, they are targeted by hackers and at risk.
According to Chubb, “Hackers have reportedly shown interest in building designs in recent years, and sophisticated malware that targets computer-aided design programs has been identified.”
Critical infrastructure and industrial control designs are at particular risk, for obvious reasons. Designers, builders and construction companies don’t always recognize the importance of the information they generate and maintain, and when the data is digital, it is targeted by cyber criminals. The Chubb advisory is a good reminder that the construction industry is at risk of cyber threats, and may wish to consider assessing the security practices used to protect it design, BIM and construction data.