Research + Tech

Businesses should prepare for cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats are a concern for all businesses, but small companies especially are vulnerable, according to

Following are three cybersecurity threats companies should prepare for now.

  1. Ransomware attacks. These attacks are a top threat most small businesses face. In a ransomware attack, hackers access a company’s data and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid. WannaCry ransomware is well-known and typically is delivered through phishing emails that appear legitimate. The Small Business Administration recommends individuals verify web addresses before downloading email attachments; avoid giving out personal information about a company to unsolicited callers; and avoid giving out financial information via email.
  2. Man-in-the-middle attacks. This type of attack happens when hackers intercept and possibly alter incoming traffic. The hacker sends the traffic on to the intended recipient, who does not realize someone has read or altered their traffic; hackers can redirect the victim’s browser to a malicious website where they can steal and even change sensitive information. Public Wi-Fi networks often are used for man-in-the-middle attacks because the router does not verify its identity. Individuals can combat these attacks by using endpoint authentication such as two-factor authentication to make it more difficult for hackers to intercept traffic.
  3. Lack of awareness. The biggest threat most businesses face is their lack of awareness regarding cybersecurity. Ninety percent of all cyber attacks result from human error, so hackers count on employees to make mistakes and allow access to sensitive information. Business owners should train employees regarding selecting strong passwords and how often these passwords should be changed; knowing they never should install unauthorized software; methods to stay safe online and on social media; strategies for responsible email usage; keeping their devices secure while they are at the office and away; and knowing what to do when a cyberattack occurs.

NRCA now offers a comprehensive cyber liability insurance program. For information, contact NRCA Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management and Executive Education Tom Shanahan at

ASTM International approves standard for below-grade waterproofing systems

ASTM International’s Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing has approved a new standard that provides guidelines and limitations for below-grade foundation waterproofing systems.

Standard D8425 specifically covers applications of needle-punched sodium bentonite geotextile waterproofing systems.

According to ASTM International member Stacy Byrd, the standard provides general installation instructions for architects and consulting engineers to consider when developing project drawings and specifications. Until now, there have been no ASTM International standards covering these types of below-ground waterproofing systems.

“It has been important to draft and finalize a standard for needle-punched sodium bentonite geotextile waterproofing systems because they have been in commercial use for 30 years and there are now multiple manufacturers that produce and market this material type of waterproofing,” Byrd says. “The new standard will aid users with general installation, application, material limitations and site conditions to consider when specifying this type of waterproofing.”

Standard D8425 is available at

PIMA issues new and updated polyisocyanurate technical resources

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association has issued several new technical and performance bulletins, as well as updated versions of previously issued bulletins. PIMA publishes bulletins to increase the building industry’s understanding of polyisocyanurate insulation, its applications and benefits.

One new resource, Technical Bulletin 204, Comparing Fire Performance of Polyiso and Competitive Board Insulation Products, compares certain fire performance advantages for polyisocyanurate, mineral wool board, XPS and EPS insulations. A new performance bulletin, Comparing the GWP of Common Exterior Wall Insulation Materials: An Overview of Global Warming Potential, assesses the global warming potential effect of polyisocyanurate wall insulation versus other common insulation products used for exterior walls across the products’ full life cycles.

Technical Bulletin 112, Moisture Generated During Construction, and Technical Bulletin 108, Tapered Insulation Systems, have been updated. Technical Bulletin 112 highlights how moisture generated during construction can affect roof systems and construction practices that can be implemented to reduce problems associated with moisture in systems. Technical Bulletin 108 offers performance details about polyisocyanurate tapered roof insulation products and systems, why tapered insulation is used and design considerations for installing tapered insulation systems.

“PIMA strives to be a go-to resource for the roofing, building envelope and general construction industries for technical information on the performance of polyisocyanurate insulation products,” says PIMA Technical Director Marcin Pazera. “Maintaining a current library of bulletins is a key part of our strategy to serve the industry and its stakeholders.”



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