Modern construction projects involve a lot of sensitive subcontractor data—from documentation to employees’ personal information, and more. Unfortunately, cybercrime is on the rise—and that subcontractor data is at risk now more than ever. If you think it can’t happen to you, think again: subcontractor data breaches hit organizations big and small—from the likes of Facebook, right down to the sole trader.
Eye-opening subcontractor data breach stats
- On April 3, 2021, the personal data of 533 million Facebook users was posted online for free in a low-level hacking forum. This data included users’ full names, biographical information, phone numbers, locations, and email addresses (IdentityForce).
- The average total cost of a ransomware breach is $4.62 million, slightly higher than the average data breach of $4.24 million (IBM).
- An average of 4,800 websites a month are compromised with formjacking code (Symantec).
These stats show the importance of securing your company’s subcontractor data and managing the risk of a breach. Here are 8 ways subcontractors can secure their subcontractor data.
1. Encrypt company devices
One of the best ways to boost your cybersecurity is by encrypting your subcontractor data. If a device is encrypted, it will be useless to someone who tries to access its data without the right key or password.
2. Ensure team members understand security best practices
3. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
Using strong passwords is one of the simplest and most effective ways to secure subcontractor data. A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Two-factor authentication makes your subcontractor data even safer by requiring confirmation of login identity through a second method, such as a one-time code sent to a smartphone.
4. Archive historical subcontractor data safely
Leaving old data unprotected is just as risky to your business as not securing your current data. Most businesses have an extensive asset inventory, filled with critical data about employees and subcontractors, projects, materials used in the construction process, past projects, and more. Securely storing this subcontractor data is paramount.
5. Manage subcontractor data access policies and permissions
6. Perform regular backups
Alongside performing the backups, make sure you have a recovery protocol in place in case of failure. This means having a plan for how you will restore your subcontractor data if your backup is lost or corrupted.