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19 May 2020

Digital transformation in construction: the importance of cyber security and backup

The construction industry has been relatively slow to embrace digital. But in recent years, there are reports that things are starting to change. For example, UK government data indicates that between 2018 and 2019, cybersecurity spending in the UK sector was up a massive 188%.

This isn’t really that surprising; with trends like AI and cloud now firmly part of mainstream IT, we’re now in a world where digitization isn’t simply an option, but a necessity. The complexity of even small construction and engineering projects means that digitizing the necessary data and documentation that lies at the heart of how the industry gets things done can improve collaboration, operational efficiency and even strategic decision making.

However, increased digital transformation brings many attendant risks. And, given that research indicates that many of the construction industry’s ongoing challenges with digital transformation stem from management challenges with enforcing top down cultural change, these issues could become even more pronounced than they are in other sectors.

If management is struggling to lead on digital transformation, there’s a danger that even if they can execute, project fragmentation and misalignment can lead to substantial vulnerabilities.

This means that digital transformation in construction needs to be more considered and measured than diving head first for innovation. You might even say that the industry needs to treat digital as it would a typical bricks and mortar project — acknowledging the importance of robust and reliable foundations, and with an absolute commitment to safety and security above all else.

This doesn’t mean digital transformation needs to be treated as a dull exercise in risk management. Far from it. It’s more about ensuring that the systems and processes that are put in place to make innovation, agility (insert buzzword of your choice), are backed up and supported by a reliable and robust security and disaster recovery strategy.

This comprises many elements, such as network and endpoint protection. Unfortunately, though, there’s no individual playbook for what a security strategy should look like for a construction company.

However, one thing is a necessity: reliable, and robust backup. Without it, the other elements of your security strategy are almost meaningless.

Think of backup like the foundations of a building. Although it’s invisible, without it your security strategy would have no (metaphorical) structural integrity. With backup in place, you can be confident that should a disaster strike, the data on which your organization runs can always be recovered.

How the construction industry can manage cybersecurity threats with robust backup software

The threat landscape for construction and engineering companies is complex. With the right backup in place, however, you can go a long way to ensuring that your digital infrastructure remains robust and reliable.

Macrium backup can play an important role in your IT stack in a number of ways — let’s take a look at some of them now.

Encryption and ransomware protection

With increased digitization, construction companies are becoming big targets for cybercriminals. In particular for large companies working on huge projects — civic engineering initiatives, for example — the depth of the data inside their systems (people, buildings, supply chains — everything) is very attractive to criminals. Earlier this year French construction company Bouygues was the victim of ransomware.

Macrium Reflect backup is built to help you mitigate these threats. With encryption on all backup files, as well as Macrium Image Guardian — which specifically defends your backup files against ransomware, you can be confident that your backup is safe from the ingenuity of cyber criminals.

Fast, easy, and flexible

We’ve seen above that industry leaders have blamed the challenges of digital transformation on rigid and inflexible cultures inside many organizations. However, digital transformation doesn’t have to be a burden. This is true of all aspects of digitization — but where backup is concerned, here at Macrium we’ve made a conscious effort to make managing backup as simple and manageable as possible.

This is important for a number of reasons: it makes life easier for IT staff, which, in turn, means they can focus on other, more complex aspects of digital infrastructure. We know that backup is only one piece of an organization’s digital strategy — but fitting neatly into a sophisticated set of tools and platforms is important for everyone.

Recover quickly

Although backup is primarily about securing the data that matters to you and your organization, it also plays an important part in ensuring business continuity.

To put it another way, effective backup is vital in minimizing downtime and ensuring that an organization is able to recover and restore systems and data in a way that mitigates loss or damage to the business as a whole. In the construction industry where projects have many different moving parts and tight schedules, this is particularly important. Downtime doesn’t just cost money in the here and now, it has a knock-on effect on many other elements of a given project or business schedule.

Macrium understands the need for rapid restoration and recovery. With features such as Rapid Delta Restore, it’s very easy for IT staff to restore backup files incredibly quickly. This means that downtime is kept to a minimum and your business can focus on doing what it does best.

Conclusion: Backup is an integral piece of the digital transformation puzzle for the construction industry

Digital transformation isn’t straightforward. And for many in the construction industry, it might feel like a daunting challenge — indeed, one that your organization and staff aren’t prepared for.

It’s wrong to be fearful — but it’s nevertheless essential to be cautious enough to lay the proper foundations for an effective digital strategy. Backup is a vital part of that. And while it might not be the top of your agenda, by using Macrium to defend your systems, data and machines, you can gain peace of mind that at least one element is taken care of.

Make Macrium part of your digital transformation to successfully protect your data from disaster or attack. Learn more here.

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