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Cyberthreats: Is Your Company at Risk?

Risk management is top of mind for many in the construction industry, but those two words bring to mind a broad range of topics: insurance, safety, liability and so on. In this issue we are narrowing it down to cybercrime and cybersecurity.

We start on page 26 with an article that asks AWCI member contractors how cybercrime has impacted their company and what they are doing to mitigate the threat. I was surprised to learn that several of our member companies have experienced many attacks or attempted attacks from ransomware, phishing, malicious links and many of the other ways hackers try to get into your system to mine for valuable information. On the other hand, some companies have not been affected at all (that they know of). But all are prepared.

Because these threats can hit just about any device or program you use—computers, cellphones, email, websites—you have to be geared up to defeat the potential danger. How do you do that? Our members employ many tactics, from employee education to firewalls. The advice they offer is a long and helpful list. As one member said, “The truth is no small company really thinks about cybercrime until they become a victim, which is too late.” If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start thinking and doing something about it.

Did you know that the companies you work with could open the door to your company being targeted? Go to page 40 to learn about new SEC rules that went into effect in January; they require tougher defenses against hackers. The new rules apply to public companies, but any private company that does business with a public company can also be affected.

Hackers know that if they can break into your private company’s smaller computer network, they can use you to get to the larger public companies you work with. That’s where the trouble starts. I have learned from talking with our specialty contractors that some general contractors are now including clauses in their contracts that protect them if your company’s network is hacked and used to get to the GC’s network. At this point, being a public or private company does not matter; what matters is that everyone is protected. Cyber insurance is available, but it is expensive, so this article ends with a list of resources you can use to learn more.

Our third feature (page 32) spotlights just a fraction of the work done by AWCI member KHS&S West on one of the newest hotels in Sin City, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Their scope was massive and included the six-acre pool deck, cantilevered porte cochère, events center, lobby areas and much more. But this article focuses on the things you love the most: a lobby ceiling, a “cheese” wall and exteriors (EIFS). Managing and executing such a huge project did not come without challenges, of course, but KHS&S got it done thanks to their team’s innovation and experience.


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