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Insights What is cybersecurity and why is it important?

 Cyber security is designed to protect digital-based systems from cyber threats and data breaches. It’s a network of applications that oversees programmes and devices, to reduce the risks of an unauthorised attack. Cybersecurity is the method that many businesses and individuals use to protect their data. Today, a vast amount of personal information is stored on computers and smartphones, so cybersecurity has become all the more important for protecting customers’ data.

 A cybersecurity attack can result in identify theft, extortion and sharing sensitive information. Therefore, in construction businesses, everyone must work together to create an effective defence against cyber threats. In this digital landscape, it’s difficult to predict when a cyberattack will happen. It’s important that businesses and professionals working in cybersecurity understand the risks and how to mitigate them.

The rising importance of cybersecurity

Cyber security has been on the rise in recent years all over the globe. The increase in cybersecurity can be attributed to the rise of digitalization and the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the more frequent use of technologies. However, there have been several high-profile data breaches in various industries, which would have inspired further action for investment into cybersecurity. For example, the company Amey faced a ransomware attack, becoming the latest construction business to face a major data breach.

It’s no wonder there’s a range of cybersecurity trends that are currently on the rise. This includes artificial intelligence-enabled security, which involves machine learning systems anticipating and responding to threats using an algorithm. Also, with the internet of things becoming more and more sophisticated, there will likely be continued attacks on IoT devices as there’s so much data available. Construction companies need to provide awareness and education around cybersecurity to protect against any vulnerabilities. 

By implementing cybersecurity, businesses won’t have to worry about unauthorized users accessing their network and data. The importance of cybersecurity lies in protecting networks and ensuring businesses feel safe when managing their employees’ and customers’ data. According to research by Cisco, distributed denial of service attacks will grow to 15.4 million by 2023, which is more than double the 7.9 billion in 2018. This means it’s all the more important that businesses adopt the best cybersecurity practices.

How will cybersecurity impact construction?

There’s no doubting the critical importance of cybersecurity in the construction industry. Theft and loss can be a huge problem for the construction sector because they can lead to breakdowns and delays in high-profile projects. One of the major benefits of cybersecurity within construction is the protection of intellectual property data and other important assets, like employee data. With the construction industry’s workforce being quite fluid with many employees working in the field, using laptops and smartphones, these are factors that could pose cyber risks. 

However, using the right cyberattack prevention methods such as AI tools and encrypted software, contractors can determine who has access to certain data and monitor for any potential cyber-attacks. Advanced planning and training will be hugely beneficial for construction companies. This may include training employees on how to identify and spot malicious activity, and how to minimize damage if there’s ever a data breach. Rail Control Systems are among some of the best cybersecurity that mitigates risks in railway engineering projects. At AtkinsRéalis , we understand the importance of becoming cyber resilient and by combining digital technologies with cybersecurity, we work across a wide range of markets, including construction and rail.

The future of cyber security

AtkinsRéalis combines cybersecurity, data and engineering to quickly understand the priorities of our clients. We understand the demands of our clients in this increasingly competitive and evolving market. And as we move into the future, AI will likely play a massive role in the future of cybersecurity as the need to analyse massive volumes of data at great speed will only increase. Implementing strong cybersecurity will pave the way for more openings for professionals with cybersecurity skills. Research has shown that there’s currently a massive cybersecurity skills gap, which has persisted for five years in a row. Hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals should be a top priority for construction companies that want to ensure their data is well protected. Above all, cybersecurity is fundamental to a business’s long term success.

Let AtkinsRéalis grow your career

At AtkinsRéalis , we have the expertise and knowledge to produce sustainable results for our clients. We’re a future-focused business and societal and environmental trends are crucial to the way we operate and deliver projects. We’ve optimized our business for agile working to drive efficiencies and deliver the best work. As a result of the people that work for us, we’re always one step ahead of the competition, and we’ve built an outstanding network that has enabled us to continue to scale and grow. Take a look at our cybersecurity jobs today, sign up for our job alerts and read our cyber resilience brochure for more information on digital security and transformation.