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3 Tips to Improve Facility Cybersecurity (AHR Expo)

Jan. 15, 2019

The ever-growing adoption of Internet of Things devices is exposing facilities to cybersecurity attacks. Stay vigilant against security threats with these tips.

The booming adoption of Internet of Things devices is making facilities easier to operate than ever before. But the technologies also expose facilities to cybersecurity attacks that can compromise sensitive data and destabilize facility operations.

Improve your facility’s resilience against cybersecurity threats with these three tips:

1. Loop in your IT department.

IT normally handles cybersecurity, but IoT devices may fall under the purview of the facilities department because of their function.

Partner with the IT department to see how you can shore up the security of third-party devices and software that you use for IoT devices connected to building systems, from smart thermostats to lighting controls. Consult with IT for future IoT investments and upgrades to ensure you’re buying products that already have security measures built in.

2. Understand your vulnerabilities.

Entrepreneur Antio Budiardjo describes identifying “attack surfaces,” or points of entry where bad actors can breach your defenses to steal assets, infect you with malware or otherwise wreak havoc on your facility.

Attack surfaces can be physical (USB sockets, Ethernet connections) or virtual (poorly configured firewalls, connected IoT devices with little to no security built in). IT personnel are skilled at detecting attack surfaces, but if they’re not involved in implementing connected facilities technology, they may not be aware that your building has other attack surfaces that can be exploited.

3. Choose devices with reliable security.

ASHRAE’s BACnet Committee is currently reviewing a new technology, dubbed BACnet Secure Connect (BACnet/SC).

This would create a standardized means for ensuring secure connections between BACnet devices while still preserving all of the functionality of previous BACnet technologies. It will also be backwards compatible with devices using previous versions of the BACnet standard. 

So if your facility’s devices communicate with BACnet, it’s worth staying up-to-date on these developments and choosing secured products when BACnet/SC becomes available.

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Cimetrics Inc. Product Announcement

To help address these increasing cybersecurity issues, Cimetrics announced the launch of Secured by Cimetrics, a comprehensive framework designed to address BAS (Building Automation System) cybersecurity threats in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). 

“The breadth of software, hardware, and best practice we have in implementing secured BAS networks are second to none in the industry,” said James Lee, CEO of Cimetrics, Inc.

Lee continues, “By delivering a holistic suite of offerings to OEM clients, the integrators and facility managers, we enable them to focus on their core expertise, and not on implementing technologies to address the ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape.”

Among the offerings, Cimetrics will fully implement the impending BACnet/SC (Secure Connect) into all its BACnet related products.

Read the entire press release written by Svetlana Lyons here.

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About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has been with BUILDINGS since 2010. She is a two-time FOLIO: Eddie award winner who aims to deliver practical, actionable content for building owners and facilities professionals.

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