Security is an essential part of any construction project. Physical security is always important, but in an age where information can be just as valuable as physical assets, data security is also a major part in what we must consider.
This is brought into sharp focus when we consider the need to provide a more open delivery model that accounts for the plethora of devices and needs present within an active construction site.
The need to create large numbers of secure platform user accounts quickly and often remotely leads us to identify identity in the cloud. The situation demands a platform that will allow the creation of unique, secure identities.
The complexity and management of this becomes arduous in site operations and the nature of the connected user and their devices set makes the traditional approach almost unworkable.
In this scenario, it’s important to recognise that sites are transient, as are users and their devices. We must be able to provide and purge accounts quickly and securely.
This is particularly important if we consider the wide range of contractors and materials suppliers that may need to be involved and gain access to the platform. Cloud-based identity management is the ideal solution here.
The challenges for networking and security in the construction sector are chiefly:
- How do users connect?
- Who are the authorised users?
- How best to monitor a remote site?
- What equipment is provided and where is it stored, used and operated?
By its nature, the connectivity from a construction site to a head office needs to be dynamic and flexible, but also uncompromisingly secure and resilient.
Today, business offer a broadband line, but the security of that line and the way the team on site use it needs to be considered and steps to connectivity need to be simple.
Technology use will be different for each project, but being able to view documents and diagrams via mobile devices and send changes to 3rd parties securely is an important part of delivering a successful IT infrastructure.
Being able to store documents in a shared area and then print when required – all securely – is another important consideration.
Allowing 3rd parties onto a site and connect to any network needs to be controlled to ensure data remains protected and no malicious code can enter the network. It’s important to think of the network on site as an extension of the main company network, so it needs to be viewed with the same security considerations.
It is now simple to quarantine a machine and perform checks to ensure compliance with the security policy prior to permitting access. This adds a further layer of protection.
Security considerations range from the physical aspect of protecting a site with CCTV, through to the security of the site office and the equipment within it.
Solutions exist that link a CCTV image to a user using an ID card or PIN code to enter a site/building and can help in the prevention of theft or fraud. These solutions are being used in other sectors and delivering demonstrable results.
Controlling who has access to IT equipment, confirming the user’s identity and the device they are using is authorised all form part of offering a secure IT infrastructure. This can be done simply and dynamically, offering peace of mind for the central office that the remote site is as secure as possible.
This monitors if authorised employees are accessing machines they are permitted to access and any 3rd party IT interaction is controlled.
This was the last entry in our Technology in the Construction Industry series. If you’d like to read more then…
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