Jul 12, 2021

Why cybersecurity is important in the construction industry

2 min
With an ever-increasing emphasis on cyber awareness, we look at why cybersecurity is important in the construction industry

A recent report by IBM Ponemon found that 74% of organisations are not prepared for cyber attacks and do not have a response plan in place to protect them. This significantly increases the risk of falling victim to cybercriminals and potentially losing important information and data. The construction industry is the third highest-suffering industry from ransomware attacks, according to a list published by Safety Detective. How, then, can construction companies increase their cybersecurity awareness and ensure they are better prepared in the event of an attack? 

What can construction companies do to protect themselves from cybercriminal activity?

Of course, while there’s no guarantee of completely preventing a cyber attack, there are a few steps that organisations can take to ensure they are as safe as possible. The first thing is to invest in cyber insurance, which will cover you if the worst does happen. It is also relatively inexpensive and can be paid in monthly installments. 

Another way to minimise the risk of a cyber attack is to improve awareness and understand what to look out for. For example, if an email or a link doesn’t look genuine, it most likely isn’t and so it should be avoided. If anything does look awry, you can send it to your organisation’s IT department to be investigated further. 

It’s also important to undergo continuous training with members of staff. Ensuring that employees are trained in detecting suspicious cyber activity will significantly reduce the chances of an attack being successful. In addition, try to use passphrases rather than passwords as the latter is one of the easiest ways for hackers to access an employee’s personal information. Using a phrase instead of a word is much harder to crack, and ultimately keeps data secure. To create a good, safe passphrase, use a minimum of four words with spaces after each one. To increase its complexity, you can then add characters, symbols, and case-sensitive words. Doing this will dramatically reduce the chances of an attack and stump any cybercriminal looking to gain access to your information. 

Speed is paramount in an attack situation. The faster you react, the greater the chances of being able to minimise its impact. Overall, it’s important to have a plan of action in place so that your organisation is ready to fight an attack. But, with the right protocols and training, hopefully, you’ll never need to.


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Jul 29, 2021

BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership

Dominic Ellis
3 min
BT and Microsoft launch strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services

BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.

BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth. 

The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.

Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.

“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”

Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”

Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.

Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:

  • Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
  • Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
  • Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%

For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.

“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”

In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".

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