Building Management

Smart Building’s potential to enhance productivity, optimize energy usage, and streamline processes has positioned it as a growth market for the future. Reports and Data forecast the global Smart Building market will surge to $189 billion by 2030 from $72.6 billion in 2021. This boom significantly increases the attack surface for this industry, and rapid growth often multiplies risks for overtaxed IT staff. For instance, the notorious Target hack of 2013 demonstrated the potential of a single HVAC contractor’s vulnerability to compromise critical customer data through lateral movement. With IoT devices, API integrations, and frequent use of contractors, the attack landscape for hackers is vast. Each building may have thousands of unpatched devices and vulnerable systems that malicious operators can easily hack. 

Building Management Illustration

Cyberattacks Security Protection for
Building Management

OT Security Building Management Attack Surface Graph

Cybersecurity Risks in Building Management Systems

The Building Automation System (BAS) poses a significant vulnerability for smart buildings as it controls critical functions such as heating, ventilation, lighting, security, and air conditioning. Interconnectivity among lighting, climate, and elevator systems in smart buildings often lacks robust security protocols. 

The increased number of entry points for hackers expands the attack surface, rendering businesses within smart buildings more susceptible to cyber threats. In smart buildings, the seamless functioning of interconnected systems heavily relies on a diverse range of IoT devices for communication. Disturbingly, fifty-seven percent of IoT devices are susceptible to medium- or high-severity attacks, making them attractive targets for malicious actors.

Poorly controlled remote access is a common vulnerability in BMS, as demonstrated by the Target hack in 2013. Attackers stole login credentials used by Target's HVAC vendor to connect to Target's web applications, which gave them access to Target's Active Directory and, ultimately, the POS system. This allowed them to obtain credit and debit card data for over 110 million accounts without directly attacking the POS. 

Another vulnerability arises from using outdated software in smart buildings. Research reveals that 37% of computers controlling smart building automation systems experienced malicious attacks in the first half of 2019. All devices in smart buildings must run the latest versions of their operating software.

Importance of OT Cybersecurity Solutions in Preventing Cyber Attacks on Smart Buildings

As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and become more complex, it's becoming increasingly important for organizations to leverage industrial OT cybersecurity solutions to protect their critical infrastructure. Traditional IT security methods are proving insufficient, making it imperative for businesses to take proactive measures to prevent cyber attacks.

One clear need is to separate IT and OT security solutions. The IT solutions for building management are constantly reconfiguring with new tenants joining and leaving and new devices connecting to the network constantly. Strong network segmentation ensures that any IT security vulnerabilities cannot be used to access the OT networks.

Real-time OT Secure Remote Access is also a mandatory requirement for effective building management. Granting and revoking access for temporary maintenance contractors and ensuring that they only have access to the devices that they are repairing is crucial, as shown by the Target hack.

BlastWave’s Building Management OT Cybersecurity Solutions

The entry point to most BAS is the Building Management Systems (BMS). BlastShield protects these systems from the outside world, introducing a software-defined perimeter incorporating a zero-trust architecture. With BlastShield, IT organizations gain secure remote access, network segmentation, and network cloaking, rendering critical systems undiscoverable to attackers and mitigating the risk of unauthorized access. 

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Make Devices Undiscoverable OT Security

Network Cloaking:

BlastShield’s network cloaking capabilities protect building automation, HVAC, fire and safety, surveillance, and access control systems from digital threats. AI-enhanced reconnaissance tools cannot probe into the internal workings of the buildings because they have no path to reach the internal OT networks.

OT Secure Remote Access:

BlastShield provides OT Secure Remote Access for remote management of building systems, ensuring the safety and comfort of occupants. BlastShield’s phishing-resistant MFA biometric authentication protects against GenAI-powered phishing attacks and MFA hijacking. A full mesh of P2P encrypted tunnels is created to secure traffic from remote users to the building and any agent-enabled systems.

Network Segmentation (MicroSegmentation):

BlastShield microsegmentation capabilities are particularly advantageous for building management. By creating distinct network segments for different building systems, BlastShield ensures that a breach in one system does not lead to a domino effect, compromising others. This segmentation is vital for maintaining the operational integrity of building management systems and ensuring the safety and comfort of building occupants. Additionally, implementing BlastShield’s segmentation aids in compliance with building and data security regulations, offering a comprehensive and secure solution for modern building management challenges.

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