Are Smart Buildings More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

The internet of things has led to more and more devices are connected to the Internet. Internet connections are now offered in sensors, speakers, cars and even kitchen appliances.

But is the IoT putting your organization’s systems at risk? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be a resounding “Yes!”

Smart buildings use technology to control processes like heating, lighting and access control. All of these avenues are possible access points for would-be hackers.

The Big Picture

There are a few areas that could allow hackers to take control of building systems. A hacker needs only access to a public IP address associated with the building. From there, hackers can access exposed ports on routers and bypass security to take control of the device, giving them complete access to facility data and the ability to remotely control almost any process.

The Danger

If compromised, smart-building devices could have a deep effect on your physical environment, allowing a bad actor to cause serious damage remotely.

Hackers could, for example, gain control of the facility devices which control server room temperatures, causing servers to overheat. Not only do these connected devices impact our physical surroundings, but they share connections with sensitive data accessible through IT networks.

Understanding the Risks

Normally, after a security vulnerability, affected code is investigated and devices updated with patches to prevent similar incidents from happening again. This has the added benefit of protecting other users with the same equipment from falling victim to attack – a little like how a vaccination teaches the immune system to repel future bugs.

Failure to act could have catastrophic consequences down the line for the business or businesses that occupy the building.