The risky combination of cyber and construction

The risky combination of cyber and construction | Insurance Business

The risky combination of cyber and construction

With more and more construction-related businesses leveraging tools such as the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, and robotics, major brokerage Gallagher Australia is drawing the construction industry’s attention to the unique risks it faces and what it described as the expanding cyberattack surface.

In a new blog post, Gallagher Australia cited the likes of biometrics, 3D building information modelling (BIM), industrial control systems, and autonomous construction machinery as among the many technologies being used by construction operations that could be targeted by cybercriminals.      

“Several recent studies provide evidence that cyber threat actors have the construction industry in their crosshairs,” noted the broker. “According to a recent Forrester survey, more than 75% of respondents in the construction, engineering, and infrastructure industries had experienced a cyber incident within the last 12 months.”

It was also highlighted that construction businesses are potentially exposed to unauthorised access and interference with project plant, data, and specifications in supervisory control and data acquisition systems and BIM, as well as to bodily injury and property damage through the failure of IoT, robotics, and remote control of processes and physical security.

With traditional insurance lines increasingly tightening policy language to exclude costs related to cyber risk, Gallagher Australia said a stand-alone cyber insurance policy usually provides comprehensive coverage.

“We’ve had construction clients report a ransom of their computer systems / data to the police who advised it was outside their jurisdiction,” shared construction practice leader for Australia & Asia Roger Irvine, who pointed to the crisis management component as one of the major benefits of cyber insurance.

“A cyber policy would typically not only pay the ransom amount but helps construction companies manage the post-event response.”