Securing Building Management Systems from Cybersecurity Threats

Securing Building Management Systems from Cybersecurity Threats

Digital transformation is being adopted by many sectors, including commercial real estate and industries where facilities are critical to day-to-day operations. Building owners are adding IoT systems and sensors to their often-aging building management systems as they look for ways to cut operational costs and reduce energy consumption.

However, connected IoT devices increase the cyberattack surface at a time when smart buildings are an alluring target for bad actors. They offer numerous opportunities for breaches due to the variety of systems deployed, their lack of inherent security and a low focus on managing their cyber risks. Many exposed systems are not covered by IT security, such as HVAC, elevator, lighting and parking.

How do you navigate this exposure and maintain continuity of vital operations and occupancy while keeping occupants safe and comfortable? To ensure operational resilience, you need visibility and cybersecurity for all your networked devices and building management systems. Let’s look at ways smart building security can be improved.

Anticipate Cyber Threats and System Failures with Comprehensive Visibility

Do your IT and facilities teams know which devices are on their networks and how many there are? Are they aware of data flows, known vulnerabilities and communications to external systems?

To spot and troubleshoot cyber incidents and networking issues that threaten reliability, you need real-time visibility into your assets, connections, and communications, as well as frequent risk assessments.

By automating building management inventory, you eliminate blind spots and reveal assets that might have been previously missed. You save time and money by using a solution that builds always up-to-date inventory instead of relying on snapshots of data.

What’s needed is a full picture of your OT, IoT and IT ecosystem, plus alerts regarding security vulnerabilities and maintenance requirements so you can always be one step ahead of any disruption.

Smart office building environment
In today’s smart office building environments, every step of the occupant’s journey involves connected technology. To ensure cyber and operational resilience, you need visibility and cybersecurity for all your IoT devices and building management systems.

Diagnose Threats and Anomalies to Improve Cyber Resiliency

The evolving sophistication of cyber threat actors is raising the bar for facility managers and IT specialists tasked with securing smart buildings. How accurate is your security analysis? Are you considering operational data from all your systems and subsystems when assessing risk?

Resource efficiency is key when collecting and analyzing information coming from all your facilities’ complex building management environments. Commercial real estate owners need continuously updated risk information that gives them confidence in the state of their security and the resilience of their operations. And, to analyze potentially problematic network changes over time or to execute fast incident response, strong, forensic timeline analysis and query tools are needed.

Respond Quickly Using Time-Saving Actionable Intelligence

As important as it is, situational awareness is not enough. You need to know how to handle the alerts that signal cyber risk or some anomalous behavior.

A system that summarizes and prioritizes risks, with actionable intelligence and playbooks for remediation, helps you efficiently and systematically make your facilities more secure.

Step-by-step instructions for each type of problem you are trying to solve along with threat intelligence to prioritize risk reduction is essential. With the right information and tools, you can focus your efforts and reduce your mean-time-to-respond (MTTR).

Two Approaches to Improving Smart Building Security

Many building operators do not have the in-house skills or resource availability, whether it be people or budgets, to meaningfully tackle improving cybersecurity. If this is your situation, then a good way to proceed is to work with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Nozomi Networks partners closely with two leading MSSPs for building automation systems–Honeywell and Intelligent Buildings.

In a webinar we conducted with Intelligent Buildings, their co-founder, Tom Shircliff, explained how his company works with leading commercial real estate firms around the world. Using the Nozomi Networks solution, they provide smart building security in a cost-effective way, and help organizations improve cyber resiliency while decreasing insurance premiums and financial risks.

If your organization, on the other hand, wants to tackle OT and IoT cybersecurity internally, then we would like to partner with you to improve your security and operational resilience. We’ve deployed our solution across many types of buildings, closing OT and IoT blind spots and security gaps with exceptional visibility, monitoring and threat detection.

Our solution is also scalable and flexible to meet a wide range of building portfolio needs. Simply request a demo, and one of our sales professionals will be in touch with you.

Securing Building Management Systems from Cyber Threats

Whether you’re with:

  • A commercial real estate group that just acquired buildings with unknown systems and cyber risks
  • A hospital that must keep IoMT and automation systems running to deliver healthcare and keep patients safe
  • A retail chain or mall that needs to secure omnichannel payment systems and keep stores safe and operational
  • A government agency that needs secure buildings to deliver essential services or ensure combat readiness

your situation is likely that building cybersecurity has gone from a low priority to a high priority over the last few years. The materials available below, our partners and our solution can help you advance on your cybersecurity journey.