New cyber security guidance to support construction firms working together on major building projects such as HS2 has been jointly published by experts from industry and government.
The new Information Security Best Practice guide aims to help these firms keep sensitive data safe from attackers by offering tailored advice on how to securely handle the data they create, store and share in joint venture projects.
The guide is a unique collaboration between experts from industry and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).
It includes input from firms with experience in joint ventures, including major infrastructure contracts such as HS2 and Crossrail, where information security risks are particularly relevant due to their typically large size, value and complexity.
By following the recommended steps, businesses can improve their physical, personnel and cyber security, making themselves less attractive targets for malicious threats, including ransomware.
Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for Economy and Society Resilience, said: “Joint ventures in construction are responsible for some of the UK’s largest building projects and the data they handle must be protected to keep crucial infrastructure safe.
“Failure to protect this information not only impacts individual businesses but can jeopardise national security, so it’s vital joint ventures secure their sites, systems and data.
“By following this new guidance – a first-of-its-kind collaboration between industry and government – construction firms can help put a holistic strategy in place to effectively manage their risks.”
The guidance is a collaboration between government and industry members of a NCSC-convened trust group, bringing together expertise, experience and input from dozens of companies in the sector.
Globally, the construction industry continues to be one of the most targeted sectors by online attackers and businesses of all sizes are at risk.
Jon Ozanne, chief information officer at Balfour Beatty, said: “With cyberattacks becoming increasingly more intelligent, cyber security and protecting our own, our employees, our supply chain and customers’ data has never been more important.
“The introduction of the new Information Security Best Practice guide will play a key role in helping to combat the operational risks faced across the sector; raising the standard and educating those to the measures required to protect against cyber threats.”
Earlier this year, the NCSC published cyber security guidance with the Chartered Institute of Building aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses improve their resilience.
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