Smart buildings have become an integral component of various sector’s success and commercial solutions. The ability to monitor and control building automation functions rewards facilities with improved operational efficiencies and saved costs. These functions are made possible by the interconnectivity of multiple devices through the Internet of Things. Still, this technology serves as a reminder that implementing new solutions does not come without risks. Just like how one might not have even begun to imagine the potential of smart buildings in its early stages, there are now plenty of unforeseeable vulnerabilities created by this same technology. How can smart buildings continue to service various industries while addressing critical cybersecurity threats?
Understanding the Potential Dangers
Hundreds, even thousands, of devices and sensors work together in a building’s automation system to carry out all the data gathering and actions in a smart building. While each connected piece of this system may not be valuable in and of itself, hackers and cybercriminals can exploit weaknesses in the network to gain access to other sensitive information or critical controls. The dangers and damages as a result of this can manifest in multiple scenarios. For example, companies can have their proprietary information or customer’s credit card information stolen, which would affect their financial security as well as damage the company reputation.
In addition, hackers can even gain control of a building’s heating and cooling systems. Disruptions to these systems can cause temperature-sensitive products like pharmaceuticals to be impacted, or cause damage to a company’s physical property if servers aren’t adequately cooled or industrial equipment or facilities malfunction.
Aside from rigorous technological solutions that work to safeguard building systems from risks, businesses need to be strategic about their overall approach to implementing cybersecurity measures. The main reason for this is because of the ever-evolving landscape of smart building tech, and consequently, the nature of potential threats it brings. In existing smart facilities, vulnerabilities should be addressed immediately with the appropriate infrastructure changes. New buildings must be constructed with the mindset of preventing breaches before they can occur. While not every component can be protected to the greatest degree, begin those efforts by identifying the most critical aspects of the business. It may be helpful to tackle the situation from the standpoint of a would-be attacker.
Continually monitoring the building automation systems and investing in educating a company on the cybersecurity landscape makes one more prepared to identify and respond to threats with a greater understanding. It’s impossible to have a plan for every possible breach scenario, but that shouldn’t stop one from being proactive about getting prepared.
Furthermore, companies need to understand that smart building cybersecurity is an ongoing cross-departmental effort. The previously mentioned approaches to cybersecurity require collaboration. To address all current and future concerns without inhibiting operations, assess risks and solutions using expertise from IT, cybersecurity, facility management, vendors, and other relevant stakeholders.
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At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!