BEC scams hit Australian construction sector

BEC scams hit Australian construction sector

Michael McKinnon, CIO at Tesserent, is warning the construction sector in Australia that it is highly vulnerable to cyberattack.

The Australian Cybersecurity Center (ACSC) has issued a high alert for construction companies in Australia.

The ACSC has reported there has been an increase in cybercriminals targeting builders and construction companies to conduct business email compromise (BEC) scams within Australia in the past six months.

According to Michael McKinnon, Chief Information Officer, at Australia’s largest ASX-listed cybersecurity company, Tesserent, the Australian construction and manufacturing industry is one of the most vulnerable and targeted sectors for cybercriminals. 

“Australia’s construction industry is highly vulnerable to not only BEC scams, but also for phishing and ransomware attacks. This is a result of years of neglect in IT spending in the sector,” he said.

“Construction companies have frequently underestimated the importance of investing in technology and now many are exposed through outdated technologies running in their business and their reliance on less sophisticated Managed Service Providers.”

McKinnon reports that cybercriminals have worked out that construction companies are ripe for the picking and are attracted by the high volumes of money that change hands in the sector. 

“Attackers know that large invoices worth thousands to millions of dollars regularly change hands and they want a piece of that pie,” he said.

“Construction companies need to urgently review their technology systems and cybersecurity defenses and train staff on how to detect and report fraudulent emails.”

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