Research Topic

Cybersecurity in the Construction Industry

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About this Research Topic

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of internet-connected systems from unauthorized exploitation (cyberattacks) and damage to the hardware, software, and electronic data. As the architecture, engineering, construction, and operation (AECO) industry becomes more digitally connected, the cybersecurity of AECO systems becomes a significant consideration and/or concern, of not only all project participants, but also other professionals in the construction industry. The exposure to cyberattacks in the construction industry could be amplified by adding the vast amounts of confidential and proprietary information digitally stored and shared across projects and their long supply chains, mostly consisting of small businesses with limited resources devoted to IT systems and security. Although some general contractors and large subcontractors have cyber-security policies in place, many smaller subcontractors do not, and this reflects the reality that awareness and investment in high-level cybersecurity in the industry are still very low, which makes computer systems and connected devices in the AECO industry vulnerable to hackers. It is a general view that the risks of cyberattacks can extend to the different phases of construction projects throughout the lifecycle. Therefore, there is a critical need to fundamentally understand the cybersecurity aspects of the entire construction life cycle, and this includes what might be compromised, how it might happen, why someone would intend to do it, and what the impact would be.

The Topic Editors welcome submissions of high-quality manuscripts addressing the cybersecurity implications to the AECO industries caused by the industry-wide digitalization and automation (referred to as Construction 4.0). Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, Cyber-Physical Systems, Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity Governance and Frameworks, Smart and Connected Construction Sites, Threat Modeling and Analyses, Cyber-deterrence Mechanisms and Countermeasures (e.g., distributed ledger technology) and case studies for both Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) cyberattacks. Submitted manuscripts will go through a rigorous, constructive, transparent, and fast peer-review process.


Keywords: construction 4.0, critical infrastructure, cyberattacks, cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, digitalization, distributed ledger technology, fourth industrial revolution, internet of things (IoT), smart construction sites


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of internet-connected systems from unauthorized exploitation (cyberattacks) and damage to the hardware, software, and electronic data. As the architecture, engineering, construction, and operation (AECO) industry becomes more digitally connected, the cybersecurity of AECO systems becomes a significant consideration and/or concern, of not only all project participants, but also other professionals in the construction industry. The exposure to cyberattacks in the construction industry could be amplified by adding the vast amounts of confidential and proprietary information digitally stored and shared across projects and their long supply chains, mostly consisting of small businesses with limited resources devoted to IT systems and security. Although some general contractors and large subcontractors have cyber-security policies in place, many smaller subcontractors do not, and this reflects the reality that awareness and investment in high-level cybersecurity in the industry are still very low, which makes computer systems and connected devices in the AECO industry vulnerable to hackers. It is a general view that the risks of cyberattacks can extend to the different phases of construction projects throughout the lifecycle. Therefore, there is a critical need to fundamentally understand the cybersecurity aspects of the entire construction life cycle, and this includes what might be compromised, how it might happen, why someone would intend to do it, and what the impact would be.

The Topic Editors welcome submissions of high-quality manuscripts addressing the cybersecurity implications to the AECO industries caused by the industry-wide digitalization and automation (referred to as Construction 4.0). Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, Cyber-Physical Systems, Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity Governance and Frameworks, Smart and Connected Construction Sites, Threat Modeling and Analyses, Cyber-deterrence Mechanisms and Countermeasures (e.g., distributed ledger technology) and case studies for both Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) cyberattacks. Submitted manuscripts will go through a rigorous, constructive, transparent, and fast peer-review process.


Keywords: construction 4.0, critical infrastructure, cyberattacks, cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, digitalization, distributed ledger technology, fourth industrial revolution, internet of things (IoT), smart construction sites


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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