Schneider Electric, a specialist in the digital transformation of energy management and automation processes, has this month announced the launch of its Cybersecurity Solutions for Buildings platform, designed to secure its customers' building management systems (BMS) to protect people, assets and operations.
According to a press release, the joint platform with Claroty, a security expert in cyber-physical systems for industrial, healthcare, and commercial environments, will combine that company's award-winning technology with Schneider Electric's industry expertise and services "to identify all facility-wide assets, deliver unmatched risk and vulnerability management capabilities, and provide continuous threat monitoring to protect enterprise investments."
As noted by the partners, "As more and more IoT devices are deployed within the buildings space and increased connectivity between previously isolated operational technology, building management systems and their IT counterparts have made them attractive targets and vulnerable to cyberattacks. Additionally, facility managers oversee hundreds of vendors, service contractors, and technicians in a fragmented manner, increasing complexity and risk."
To meet this challenge, the Cybersecurity Solutions for Buildings offering designed by Schneider Electric and Claroty includes the following capabilities: asset discovery; risk assessment; remote access control; and threat detection and response.
According to the partners, the platform is designed "to give building owners, facility operators and security teams a simple solution without adding further workload, which identifies baseline risks, continually reduces both cyber- and asset risks, and identifies and remediates threats in their environment before services are interrupted."
As further reckoned by Schneider Electric and Claroty:
Fifty percent of today’s buildings are likely to be still in use by 2050. This is driving commercial buildings to digitize their assets, including modernizing their building management system. In fact, IoT technology for buildings is expected to grow from an existing 1.7 billion connected devices at the end of 2020 to over 3 billion by 2025. As these commercial buildings evolve into smart buildings of the future, they share at least one common trait: heightened exposure to risks.
Studies have shown that 57 per cent of IoT devices are vulnerable to medium or high-severity attacks. Cyberattacks have already harmed several businesses, including critical infrastructure such as hospitals, data centers, and hotels. The commercial building sector must find ways to safeguard both its access to the company’s IT systems as well as its mission-critical infrastructure. The sector must address the security challenges presented by smart buildings.
“The integration of IoT in buildings is sparking an exciting shift across the sector, but like with any innovation, it also presents new risks,” commented Annick Villeneuve, vice president, digital enterprise solutions, Schneider Electric. “For threat actors looking to disrupt operations, benefit financially and/or achieve other objectives, and in so doing to put individuals at risk, buildings can appear to be the perfect target. It is with this in mind that we are partnering with Claroty to bring our customers a comprehensive, industry-leading solution that meets the unique security and operational risks facing buildings of today and of the future.”
Specifically, according to the partners, key capabilities of the Cybersecurity Solutions for Buildings platform include the following:
- Equips facility managers with a simple, vendor agnostic solution with which they can easily fulfill secure remote access, asset inventory, efficiency, and other related requirements from building owners and asset managers.
- Provides an automated asset discovery and network mapping solution that identifies and catalogs all system assets (BMS, IoT, UPS, Power Systems, etc.).
- Delivers a continuous threat detection solution that constantly monitors buildings networks to identify, assess, and alert at the earliest indicators of network and asset level anomalies.
- Allows vendors of smart building assets and systems to create external, secure tunnels to connect to and maintain specific resources and assets in the building network easily and without introducing additional risk.
- Provides dashboards and reporting capabilities to enable management and security teams to understand current situations, receive tailored recommendations, and drive the proper actions to reduce a building’s exposure to safety, operational, financial, and reputational risks.
- Delivers the industry’s only secure remote access (SRA) solution that is purpose-built for buildings and OT environments to increase building security when vendors, contractors, and technicians are performing remote maintenance activities.
- The valuable visibility and intelligence gained regarding the building's OT and asset environment through the deployment of Schneider Electric’s Cybersecurity for Buildings solutions can also bring additional benefits to building owners and operators to enhance building operational efficiency and productivity with actionable insights.
“When it comes to securing cyber-physical systems, including BMS, the number one priority is to keep physical processes operational and safe,” concluded Keith Carter, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, Claroty. “By fusing Claroty’s deep domain expertise and purpose-built technology with Schneider Electric’s renowned services and commitment to driving digital transformation globally, we are empowering our customers to reap the benefits of smart building technologies without increasing their exposure to cyber risk, thereby taking a profound step toward creating a more efficient, sustainable future for the world.”