The Security of Building Security: a Q&A on Trends

What does adding a digital layer to traditional security look like? And, what is the future shaping up to be for security in the built environment? Three security professionals shared their insights on this topic, which include consideration of integrated facility systems, impact of IoT, working with IT and other departments, and cyber security concerns overall.

How has the shift from analog to IP-based systems benefitted facility executives?

An infrastructure change is never easy. There are many who still haven’t made the shift, and many who made a hybrid shift. Those who have are benefitting from the advancement in technology that IP brings. As we enter the era of leveraging the cloud, which is only accessible via IP networks, the solutions and intelligence advancements we will see — via AI [artificial intelligence], for example — will help facility managers focus on proactively optimizing their facilities rather than reactively addressing problems. With this, executives will see a bottom-line improvement in their facility costs. – Brad Eck, strategic alliances program owner-Americas, Milestone Systems

What are some of the latest innovations you have seen recently that will have the largest impact on building systems in the next three to five years?

As alluded to above, AI is in the beginning phases of influence. Today, analytics bring intelligence to our industry and we are already seeing many solutions leveraging deep learning in their labs to create smarter deployed algorithms. In three to five years, we would expect to see a growing number of systems leveraging learning-at-deployment technologies thereby creating adaptive building systems. Using multi-tenant cloud intelligence will grow that adaptation exponentially. – Brad Eck

What are the security concerns that facility managers should know when installing an IoT device on the network? What are features and benefits that combat those concerns?

Cyber threats are real: hacks are found daily, and huge data break-ins are reported regularly. Facility managers who leverage IP networks need to have a coordinated defense with their IT staff to ensure secure systems. Consider, however, that there are a lot of attack points beyond the traditional virus protections. From device access to your network, encryption of the data from point-to-point, and ensuring the data is stored securely — the entire data path is at risk of attack. Isolating access to your edge devices from the core systems is an important first step in the protection of that data. From there, leveraging data encryption technologies, certificates or, at minimum, advanced password management are incremental steps in the protection of your data. – Brad Eck

When thinking about the security on these devices, are there any areas that still need to be addressed on the industry side? Are there any known vulnerabilities to be aware of?

Cyber security is a dynamic technological sub-genre in industries today. By that I mean it is a part of every IP system in every industry, and it is constantly changing — whether or not we are doing anything about it. Vulnerabilities are constantly found in any system, so manufacturers as well as the customers are addressing those vulnerabilities in product and software updates. Advancements in network computing have empowered the fast deployment of cyber fixes through automation and the direct connectivity between them. – Brad Eck

Read the full article by Facility Executive with additional comments from Assa Abloy and Legrand experts: