Data Privacy Day… That’s right most construction firms admit they have heard of it, but have not given it the attention it deserves. Then there are those that say they are taking cybercrime a lot more serious to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. But the fact remains two few construction companies didn’t pay close attention to January 28, which commemorates the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, in 1981. Sadly, that is perhaps why most construction firms will be the victim of some form a cyber breach this year.

Report after report reveals that most companies have yet to put in the right cyber security to protect their company from a cyberattack and companies are still in denial. In fact, most companies won’t give cybersecurity the attention it deserves, not even for a day, let alone consider focusing on the issue year round. It goes without saying that the construction industry, similar to any industry, should take a year-round approach to spreading best practices because cybercrime doesn’t wait until its victims are ready.

What’s even more disturbing, and I have to concur with my industry colleagues, that it will most likely take a national crisis or a major cyber event before businesses and individuals truly pay enough attention to the seriousness of cyber terrorism and the like before they all respond accordingly. And candidly, that’s what’s most frightening, and perhaps, what fuels cyber criminals as they wait for the perfect time to strike.

That is why organizations like the National Cyber Security Alliance, www.staysafeonline.org, a nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating and empowering a digital society, to promote Data Privacy Day at a time when businesses and consumers can think about cybersecurity, share their experiences, and adopt best practices.

One company that says it is committed to helping to spread the word about mobile-app security is Arxan Technologies, www.arxan.com, which offers security solutions for software running on mobile devices, desktops, servers, and embedded platforms, including the IoT (Internet of Things). On Data Privacy Day, the company issued a mobile-app security advisory for end users and developers of mobile banking and mobile payment apps.

Because more end users than ever before are entrusting sensitive data to mobile apps, Arxan’s advisory suggested several steps to protect data privacy and security when using mobile financial services. For instance, best practices include only downloading banking and payment apps from certified app stores, ensuring phone settings are set to prevent app downloads from unofficial stores, asking financial institutions if their apps are protected against “reverse engineering,” and avoiding connecting to email, banking, or other sensitive accounts over public Wi-Fi.

From mobile check deposits to mobile payments, money transfers, and checking balances, mobile devices and technologies are the new normal in financial services. For this reason, it is nothing short of critical that app developers take steps to safeguard their customers. It is also nothing short of critical that consumers do not expect others to do for them what they can do for themselves—take steps to protect their data, learn the risks, and make informed decisions based on these risks.

In a time when cyber criminals are waiting to strike at any moment it makes businesses and consumers focus on being their own security advocates and focus on protecting their most valuable critical assets anytime possible.

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