Cybersecurity risks for smart buildings

An ever-increasing number of the utilities and facilities installed in commercial buildings, as well as some residences, are connected via the Internet of Things.

A common residential example of this is the use of smart electricity meters, which not only monitor your electricity use, but can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app to turn appliances on and off when you are not home.

In a commercial setting, similar automation can control HVAC systems, as well as ensuring lights are turned off when the last person leaves the building.

But increased connectivity – especially via the internet – also brings with it increased cybersecurity risks.

Here are some of the top risks to watch out for, as well as some sensible steps you can take to protect your premises against would-be hackers and attackers.

 

All-network attacks

Your business may have multiple networks, including a LAN, WAN, public internet connection and Internet of Things (IoT) connection for your appliances.

If these networks cross paths at any point, for example if they run via a single server, router or modem, then they are all vulnerable to external attacks.

For maximum security, any connections with the public internet, including IoT connections, should run on completely separate hardware from business-critical internal networks such as LANs and WANs.

 

Software attacks

One of the other cybersecurity risks is hackers attempting to compromise your networks using software such as spyware, ransomware or a Trojan virus to gain control of computers inside your network firewall.

Make sure you have good policies in place, e.g. to prevent employees from opening unfamiliar and unexpected email attachments.

Back this up with strong sentinel antivirus software, which will patrol your network looking for malicious code and quarantine it before it has a chance to execute.

 

Physical attacks

Smart buildings are at risk from direct physical hacks, if a malicious individual is able to gain access to your premises.

Implement good access control at all external doors, and install alarms on any windows accessible from ground level.

When you need maintenance on smart building systems, always work with a reputable maintenance provider such as hebs Group, who you know you can trust.

 

Get in touch

The hebs Group team is here to help by keeping your smart building systems well maintained and up to date, so that you do not expose them to avoidable security risks.

To make an enquiry about smart building maintenance and cybersecurity, contact hebs on info@hebs-group.co.uk or call our engineers on 0151 236 0707 to find out more about any of our services.

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