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. For instance, the security measures for HVAC systems may not include data encryption.
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 the Target 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.
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. However, even just one compromised IoT device creates an entry point for hackers, allowing them to infiltrate the system undetected, potentially for months. Disturbingly, fifty-seven percent of IoT devices are susceptible to medium- or high-severity attacks, making them attractive targets for malicious actors.
A wide range of common appliances that connect to the internet, such as doorbell cameras, smart meters, fitness trackers, smart speakers, and connected cars, fall under the category of IoT devices. Neglecting the security of these devices is akin to leaving a backdoor wide open or placing a key under the doormat.
Even high-profile figures such as Joe Biden faced security concerns regarding the use of his Peloton bike in the White House upon assuming the presidency. To mitigate the risk of data breaches, companies must prioritize implementing robust security measures for every connected device within a smart building.
Users actively contribute to the vulnerability of smart building systems to cyber threats. While human input is essential for the seamless operation of smart buildings, it also introduces the risk of human error. Engaging in activities like downloading malware or employing weak passwords can result in a network breach and unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Furthermore, the rise of remote work has increased the likelihood of using personal devices on insecure networks, making the individual's device and the smart building they work in susceptible to attacks.
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.
Failure to update software exposes smart buildings to cybercriminals who target vulnerabilities in older software versions. Installing updates promptly is essential to maintain security and prevent compatibility issues with other devices and sensors vital for smart building operations.
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 security methods are proving to be insufficient, making it imperative for businesses to take proactive measures to prevent cyber attacks.
Investing in BlastShield's industrial cybersecurity solution is a proactive step towards protecting your building management system against cyber threats. With BlastShield's software-defined perimeter, organizations can implement a zero-trust architecture and prevent attacks before they occur while reducing the risk of stolen credentials and complex management.
Don't wait until it's too late - invest in BlastShield's industrial OT cybersecurity solution today.
The building management industry is becoming increasingly digitized, with the adoption of smart building technologies that allow for remote monitoring and control of building systems such as HVAC, lighting, and security. However, this also makes the industry more vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can disrupt building operations, compromise sensitive data, and even threaten the safety of occupants.
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