Cyber coverage catches on at different rates in every industry. In construction, it is starting to take hold, but it is only slowly becoming a normal coverage.
“Cyber liability is an emerging risk,” said Jim Marquet, vice president and co-leader of the construction industry team at The Graham Company, a large brokerage in the Philadelphia area. “Obviously it is a hot topic in many industries right now.”
He said a lot of construction company owners and project managers don’t think of it as primary risk. “But increasingly folks want to learn about it, and we’ve had a number of people purchase cyber liability coverage. The people it is most relevant for are companies that have access into someone else’s networks. So if you take, for example, an HVAC contractor who is tapping into someone’s controls to change temperatures or to optimize their systems, they may see the need,” he said.
He said he recently sold cyber coverage to a contractor who uses Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to run projects and coordinate with other contractors on the job. Marquet explained that BIM is essentially digital 3D blueprint technology that gives all contractors on a job the ability to view the current environment as it is designed and determine if there are conflicts with their work.
In conversations with the client, he said it was determined that even though they back the data up regularly and have good network security, they thought some additional protection was a good idea just in case the data became corrupted or some third party was able to deny them access to the data. “They thought they could get a reasonable level of protection for a reasonable cost so they bought a cyber liability policy,” Marquet said, adding that the project in question is a hospital project.
He said that a lot of times there is a construction company owner or someone on the board who has exposure to cyber from other businesses they are involved in, so they want to know more about it. “But there is certainly more shopping than buying,” he said.