Is Your Construction Firm Prepared for a Cyber Disaster?

Construction professionals rely on a variety of web-enabled technologies in order to manage projects, communicate with clients and vendors, and complete jobs.

Business Continuity For Canadian Construction Firms

Construction companies are unique entities, especially in today’s technology-dominated business environment. Construction professionals rely on a variety of web-enabled technologies in order to manage projects, communicate with clients and vendors, and complete jobs. IT innovation has allowed construction professionals to take huge strides when it comes to efficiency and productivity. However, alongside these benefits, IT innovations in the construction industry have left firms open to increased risk.

Business Continuity Construction Firms in Canada

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity in the Construction Industry

Everything you need to know about preventing cyber disasters and responding to the worst-case scenario

Think about it for a second – imagine your construction firm was hit by a devastating cyber-attack? Or maybe a huge natural disaster cuts power unexpectedly and your firm is suddenly without access to critical business files and applications. Would you and your team know how to respond to the disaster and keep business moving?

Our guess is that even if your firm takes cybersecurity seriously, you might not have concrete plans in place for responding to a tech disaster and protecting your firm’s operational continuity. Don’t stress – you’re not alone. We here from construction companies all the time who are looking for ways to be more prepared for the worst-case scenario. So, we’re on a mission to create a fool-proof guide that helps firms develop a business continuity plan that is customized for the construction industry. Read on for the inside scoop.

First Things First: What is a Business Continuity Plan?

Before we dive into why business continuity plans are so important and how your firm can create a robust and strategic one, let’s start by making sure we clearly define what a business continuity plan is. Simply put, a business continuity plan acts as a form of practical insurance for your construction firm.

No one can predict when a cyber disaster will occur, or the scope of its negative impacts on your business. However, you and your team don’t need to feel helpless. A business continuity plan is a deliberate and proactive strategy for resuming and maintaining normal operations in the midst of a major tech disruption.

A reliable and worthwhile business continuity plan will include detailed instructions and procedures to ensure:

  • Disaster recovery happens swiftly – This involves securing and restoring your IT infrastructure as soon as possible and minimizing immediate operational disruption.
  • Assets are handled properly – This involves locking down business data and minimizing the threat posed to business assets during the disruption.
  • Lines of communication are protected – This involves making sure your team is still able to communicate with one another, and clients, securely while the disruption is addressed.
  • Vendor relationships are monitored – This involves making sure your ongoing work with third-parties is streamlined and secured in the worst-case scenario.
  • Back-up strategies are in place – This involves developing a back-up plan for continuing operations even if your IT infrastructure is still down and out.

Why Your Construction Firm Needs a Business Continuity Plan

Now that we’ve clearly defined what a business continuity plan entails, it’s time to discuss why business continuity plans are so important – especially in the construction industry. Many construction companies think they’ll never be the victims of a cyber disaster, but the fact of the matter is, all construction companies are at risk – especially in a world where natural disasters are on the rise and the cybercrime climate is more hostile and unpredictable than ever before.

The potential business consequences of a cyber disaster can be downright catastrophic. In fact, some businesses never recover – especially if they’re entirely unprepared. The reality is, cyber risk and business risks are one and the same. For construction companies that rely on web-enabled technologies both on and off the job site, a cyber disaster can quickly damage a firm’s reputation and halt their operational capacity and overall profitability.

How to Create a Fool-Proof Business Continuity Plan

You’re probably sick of the negative stuff. We get it. Cybersecurity planning can seem overwhelming. The doom and gloom can be enough to want to bury your head in the sand and just hope for the best. Don’t worry – you don’t have to run away from your cybersecurity woes, you just have to face them head-on. We’ve put together some strategies to help your construction firm create a detailed and reliable business continuity plan.

Here’s how to create a custom-built business continuity plan for our construction firm:

  • Take an Inventory

Start by taking an inventory of all the tech assets and applications your firm relies on. This could include office hardware, industry-specific software, mobile devices, company databases, Cloud-applications and more.

Once you develop an idea of all the IT resources your firm relies on to get work done, you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be secured and protected. You’ll also have a concrete idea of what resources need to be prioritized and restored when a cyber disaster should strike.

  • Create Policies & Procedures

It may sound tedious, but it’s absolutely critical to get disaster recovery and business continuity policies and procedures on paper. By putting your plans to paper you’ll be taking care of two important things.

First, you’ll be emphasizing the importance of these policies and procedures to your team. Second, you’ll have a reference guide available that you can turn to during the stress of a major tech disruption. This is what business continuity planning for the construction industry is all about.

  • Assign Roles

This next step is all about mobilizing your team. You need to put an effort into assigning roles and responsibilities to different team members if and when a cyber disaster should strike. These roles should be assigned proactively to ensure you’re not scrambling in the face of a disaster.

Use the policies and procedures you drafted to consider what needs to be done and who’s the best to do it. Try and assign roles and responsibilities to team members who understand your entire scope of operations and recognize the importance of restoring operations as efficiently and securely as possible.

  • Develop a Communication Plan

Last but definitely not least, be sure to develop strategies for keeping lines of communication clear and strong in the worst-case scenario. Cyber disasters can leave construction teams scrambling and communication can quickly break-down as a result.

Create a plan for staying in contact with team members, clients, and vendors no matter the scope of the disaster. By prioritizing strong communication, you’ll keep your team, clients, and vendors calm and will be able to focus on restoring operations as efficiently as possible, while keeping everyone on the same page.

Calling in Backup: Finding a Professional Service Provider to Help with Business Continuity Planning

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you about the importance of creating a business continuity plan for your construction firm. Even more importantly, we hope we’ve helped ease your stress about creating a strategic and robust plan. However, if you’re still feeling overwhelmed we have one final tip that could make all the difference as you try to develop a reliable and proactive business continuity plan for your construction firm.

You’re busy, we get it. That’s why the best piece of advice we can give you is to partner with an IT services provider that specializes in business continuity planning for the construction industry. When you have a team of IT experts in your corner, you can rest assured that you’re developing plans and best practices that will adequately prepare your firm from end-to-end.

If you’re already looking for an IT provider to help your construction firm create dynamic and strategic business continuity strategies, we welcome you to reach out to the team of tech professionals from Engineering IT. Our team specializes in customized IT solutions for construction professionals and we’re passionate about helping firm’s like yours feel more prepared to face even the worst of cyber threats.

Don’t wait for disaster to strike – start creating business continuity strategies for your construction firm today. If you’re ready to get strategic and proactive, reach out to the Engineering IT team anytime at (403) 879-8841 or via email at info@engineeringit.ca.