Stakeholders need to work together to realize the benefits of smart buildings

Stakeholders need to work together to realize the benefits of smart buildings
Future smart cities and buildings could bring several benefits to life, such as reducing waste, driving power efficiencies and enhancing resources, but it also comes with some challenges, with security issues being the most significant.
 
Smart technology gathers and analyzes a large set of data, and then initiates actionable and automated events that streamline operations. However, to deliver this at a great scale also means to bring a large number of different systems together and to enable them to communicate freely with access to important and sensitive data.
 
Network video supplier Axis Communications, Virtually Informed and Unified Security co-published a whitepaper Smart buildings & smart cities security, to address methodologies for associated security risks and providing recommendations for realizing the benefits of smart buildings and cities.
 

Check 1: Device interoperability

 
Device interoperability is a crucial key to success. It allows different ecosystems to operate together, completing the true picture of smart buildings and cities. All stakeholders will need to play a role and work in collaboration for the security of the systems, the whitepaper pointed out.
 
Some of the listed stakeholders include: building owners, property developers, landlords, building occupants, architects, technology suppliers, building services engineers, town planners, chief security officers, chief information security officers, and data protection officers.
 

Check 2: Security of IoT devices

 
According to the whitepaper, the Internet of Things (IoT) devices sit at the core of the security problem. Smart buildings and cities rely on a wide variety of IoT devices and sensors to be linked and work with each other. These devices however, are potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks.
 
Security checks, suggested by the whitepaper, always start by looking at connected device security and the device supplier's cyber maturity. Smart buildings and cities should evaluate cybersecurity throughout the whole supply chain to protect data, maintain privacy and keep risks associated with cyber threats to a minimum.
 

Check 3: Stakeholders

 
The whitepaper suggested, to manage cybersecurity on a large scale in environments such as smart buildings and cities, the whitepaper advises to involve risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain and diminish the potential damages they could cause.
 
A cyber breach of a smart system in a building could be catastrophic. It is "critically important" to ensure the concentrated security becomes a critical component of this "rapidly changing paradigm," suggested the whitepaper.
 
"Security cannot be avoided in the context of a smart building or a city, and yet in many cases stakeholders have not even thought about it. It is important that they all realize that they need to make a start somewhere, and this whitepaper aims to help with that,” said Sarb Sembhi, the CTO and CISO at Virtually Informed, in the report.
 
The whitepaper reviews stakeholder roles and security risk management to better understand the security issues associated with smart building systems. It also includes recommendations for stakeholders on how to get started, security standards and frameworks, product strategy, system and solution security, supply and purchasing, and converged cyber-physical security operations.


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