As more people prefer the convenience, security, and cost-saving ability of smart buildings, the industry is marking tremendous growth. This means increased connectivity and IoT use, which exposes smart buildings to the possibility of cyberattacks if not well protected. Stakeholders then have a task to ensure not only protection against cyberattacks but also the continuity of key services and quick recovery in case of an attack. Here are seven ways smart building owners and operators can improve cyber resilience.
Understand the cybersecurity threat and risk landscape
Building cyber resilience starts with understanding what kind of threats, vulnerabilities, and risks exist. This can be achieved by conducting a detailed cybersecurity threat and risk assessment. This takes a few steps that include taking asset inventory to identify all the assets connected to the building network, conducting network traffic baselining with an aim to identify the normal levels of the building’s network activity, and lastly, identifying vulnerabilities. This exercise helps identify gaps such as undocumented assets, abnormalities in the network activity, and weak points in the technology environment, which helps in early threat detection and remedy.
Creating cybersecurity awareness draws people’s support to the cybersecurity strategy. Building owners and operators can start by training employees and users on cybersecurity hygiene. This way, they can know how to identify threats and avoid taking malicious people’s baits. They should also be made aware of the right procedure for reporting threats. However, stakeholders should remember that everything starts from the top and trickles down to the juniors. Thus, ensuring that top leaders support the cybersecurity goals and are setting a good example is paramount.
Have the right people in place
On top of creating a cyber-aware culture, having a security team in place that can identify and mitigate attacks is crucial. This team should have roles and responsibilities spelled clearly to ensure a smooth flow of processes for successful executions. Moreover, working with a cybersecurity solutions provider can go a long way in improving cyber resilience. Thus, smart building stakeholders should find reliable partners to help boost the capability to deal with a wide range of potential threats.
Assess the cybersecurity strategy regularly
Having a cybersecurity strategy in place is essential in ensuring proactive risk mitigation. The strategy should include hiring the right people, creating awareness, adapting zero trust, and other principles. However, boosting cyber resilience lies in assessing the strategy regularly to ensure that everything aligns with the risks and threats landscape at any given time. Moreover, assessing the cybersecurity strategy should go hand in hand with regular reviews of the smart system –devices, network, secure codes, access rights, and more.
Employ the right technology
Improving cyber resilience also involves applying security measures to prevent attacks. The right technology can help greatly in this regard. For instance, cloud behavioral analytics technology can help detect attacks based on a change in users’ behavior on the network by using intelligent alerts. Wi-Fi sensing can secure personal identifying information and prevent the infringement of users’ privacy through its non-invasive motion detection technology. In addition, data collected in Wi-Fi sensing is stored in an encrypted form, which makes it highly secure from malicious activities.
Ensure regulatory compliance
Complying with data privacy regulations not only puts smart building owners and operators on the right side of the law, but it is also a way of addressing vulnerabilities. This is because it puts a responsibility to protect itself against attacks and data breaches. These standards include IoT standards from NIST, 20 CIS Controls as well as adhering to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s guide. Moreover, it is important to note that these regulations keep changing. So, keeping up with the changes is crucial in ensuring compliance and enhancing cybersecurity.
Ensure a secure supply chain
Third party vendors can expose smart building networks to the introduction of malware and other attacks. To build cyber resilience, vendor vetting to ensure that they have put in place security measures is important. Smart building owners and operators should ensure that vendors adhere to the set standards and regulations. Additionally, they should monitor and track vulnerabilities of all components sourced from third parties.
The use of IoT technology and increased connectivity exposes smart buildings to a wide range of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats. This raises a need for enhancing cybersecurity in the industry. Moreover, building cyber resilience ensures continuous operations and prompts bouncebacks when attacked. That being said, the above-listed ways help smart building owners and operators improve cyber resilience.