In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be brought into effect in the United Kingdom and indeed across the whole of Europe. According to a YouGov survey, approximately 70 percent of construction firms are completely oblivious to how these new data protection rules will impact their company. So, how will the GDPR change the UK construction industry?

Securing Data Transactions

While it may not seem like it, the construction industry is one of the most tech-dependant industries in the UK today. Working in construction requires a huge volume of data being constantly exchanged. This data is being exchanged between a wide a range of different working professionals including planning consultants, architects and engineers.

Obviously, this could be an issue in the wake of the GDPR. All, these individuals are linked by data chains, and if one is exposed to a cyber-attack, it could cripple an entire construction project. The lost-time due to a hack like this could ultimately cost a construction business thousands, even millions.

As such, it will be vital that in the wake of the GDPR that data transactions are far more secure to protect against the impact of hacks.

A Stricter Stance Against Online Viruses

According to the UK government, 15 percent of construction businesses in the UK were impacted by online crime. To put this in perspective, that means that 1 in 6 construction companies were affected in some way. The majority of the issues here were computer viruses. However, these viruses can be used to clone data, wipe hard drives or even lock down important files so that they cannot be accessed by the owner. These viruses can be completely undetectable using typical antivirus software.

Due to this construction businesses will need to ensure that they have the right level of protection against viruses in place. This may require the full support of an IT support team. An IT support team can monitor the computer network and immediately act if a virus or hack has taken place.

Employee Risk

It is important to be aware that hacks and viruses aren’t your only issue with security in the construction industry. You also need to think about the danger of employees contractors and consultants. All these individuals will be able to access important data that must be kept secure if your business is going to be safe from cybercrime. As such, data needs to be secured under the guidelines of the GDPR. Remember, under the new GDPR a breach in security could lead to penalties of up to 4 percent of your total revenue. The most you could lose is twenty million, and that is definitely worth thinking about when you’re setting up security for your construction business.

There is a very real danger to construction businesses who are not prepared or are not even aware of the GDPR. The maximum fine will force 25 percent of construction firms out of the market completely.

Getting The Right Insurance

Finally, there are a variety of insurance plans available that cover a cyber incident that impacts your firm. Construction firms that want to make sure they are covered financially for a potential breach will need to arrange this type of coverage after the GDPR comes into effect.