In the recent past, there have been a lot of stories of companies succumbing to IT cybersecurity threats. Property owners are incorporating and relying on smart building technologies more and more, and it has become even more important to think about cyberthreat prevention. It can seem like a daunting task to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities. This article is going to help owners know more about cybersecurity and protecting equipment, occupants, and data from threats – both immanent and known.
Consolidating remote access
Most buildings tend to have multiple air-gapped networks. Most of the networks are physically disparate – this means that transmitting data from one network to another is impossible – an independent remote access entry point is needed and this can be done via remote access connectivity, like a virtual private network (VPN). This leads to remote access policies that are different when you look at it from a cybersecurity standpoint.
Securing network zones
Even when you consolidate air-gapped networks, different IT/OT systems tend to remain segregated so as to restrict lateral movement if a breach happens and improve cybersecurity control. Most IP networks today come with Layer 4 to Layer 7 firewalls. This is good because they identify the type of traffic from each of the pockets. The firewalls can be used when creating logical security zones to restrict Interzone communication. This is going to help in lowering cybersecurity risk because it limits the ability of the hacker to move around within your network. There is less movement to make, which lessens the chase.
It is important to have visibility into the endpoints and sensors communicating because it makes it easy for you when it comes to cybersecurity posture. Compromised IT/OT devices or platforms will start to talk to control botnet servers and commend servers, which will reveal that there is a device compromised. When you don’t have a mechanism for monitoring threats, then hacked devices can keep accessing your network for a long time and can easily cause damage to your systems.
To counter this, you are going to need to have a good level of security visibility. NDR (Network Detection and Response) is the latest monitoring platform that is going to help you with your cyberthreat monitoring efforts. The security tool is going to remain in your network so it can watch the traffic passing and see if there is any problem. NDR is going to categorize and baseline all data flowing into the network. Once the baseline has been established, it is going to use artificial intelligence for identifying whether a device or group of devices has experienced a sudden change in communication – this could be a sign of a device or network breach.
Keeping up on the patchwork
It is important to maintain and monitor OT, IT, and IoT patch management. While it is great when there is perimeter security like a firewall, there is the risk of a bad actor sneaking by and accessing applications, to control security, heating or even the air quality of your building which makes it easy for them to access the building LAN and the system. It is important to stay on top of the security patch releases for every software and hardware component. There is less risk of the device or software getting compromised when they are patched with the latest security fixes.
Monitoring and restricting access
There are a lot of software and hardware equipment introduced to smart buildings – for starters, intelligent surveillance cameras, IoT sensors, and door controllers – that need upkeep and management. Many platforms out there let you create a username and password for administrative access, which can lead to stolen, lost, or rarely updated passwords. You can deal with this risk by using a centralized user and authentication server. The two most common options for centralizing administrative accounts are Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) and Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD). This will help create accounts and access controls on which systems the account is allowed to communicate with.
Cybersecurity isn’t focused on completely eliminating risks. It involves understanding the risks a network faces and focusing on the lapses or gaps that malicious actors can seek. When you deal with the “low-hanging fruits” hosted in a smart building, property owners can prevent hackers from finding it easy to enter. This is going to keep their data and system safe.