Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

June 16, 2015
Editor – GX – Arturo
Editor – GX – Arturo
Editor – GX – Arturo
Editor – GX – Arturo
Editor – GX – Arturo

There’s a growing number of construction companies that are using cloud based software not only to keep track of their progress on job sites and maintenance of their fleet, but also for such things as estimating, takeoff, building information modeling, invitation to bid, and general accounting. That amounts to a lot of data. It’s data that needs to be kept secure.

Yet according to the 2014 Construction Technology Report, a survey conducted by Texas A&M University and construction industry technology firm JBKnowledge, 63% of the construction professionals surveyed admit that their company does not have cloud security policies in place, or they didn’t know of any cloud security policies in place. Also, 49% of the executives, project managers and estimators say they use their mobile devices (that can access company data) at work, while only about one-third of the companies that employ them make sure to secure those devices before being used on the job. Smaller companies (21–200 employees) were more likely to answer “no” to having security policies in place.

The report says that while companies are allowing more and more of their data to be in the cloud, the policies and procedures regarding cloud usage are not increasing at the same rate.

“Companies are adopting more and more cloud solutions without implementing the security policies to accompany them. Data is requested, transmitted and manipulated by an increasing amount of devices, people and companies through the cloud, and, according to these survey results, companies know less and less about the quality and security of the data.” –2014 Construction Technology Report

Some in the survey went so far as to say that they “Don’t store any data in the cloud,” but later went on to admit to using smartphones and tablets and apps such as Dropbox, for work related activities. Which of course means that people are using the cloud through their mobile devices and don’t even realize they have data in the cloud.

On the subject of cloud security, the survey had these final words to say:

“Employee training is the most frequent data security method used most likely because it is the least expensive, and, in theory, easiest to get approved and implemented. Beyond that, it seems most of the companies surveyed are leaving themselves exposed to cloud security threats and relying on an unofficial honor system among employees or their solutions providers to ensure data security. Even if the IT department handles cloud data security, employees must be aware of the policies they need to follow to maintain that security.” –2014 Construction Technology Report

The good news is, if you’re a bit “cloudy” on your cloud security, you can do something to remove those “dark clouds.” Don’t be the one survey participant who commented, “Data service provider secures the information … or so we hope.”