Intelligent CISO Issue 16 - Page 74

SMART BUILDINGS: UNDERSTANDING THE SECURITY RISKS Smart buildings offer many benefits to organisations, individuals and the environment. But they are also widening the attack surface and opening up of new entry paths into corporate networks as a result of the convergence between operational technology and IT systems. Tony Atkins, Regional Director EMEA at Nozomi Networks, discusses how organisations can take steps to secure their networks in order to fully reap the benefits of smart building connectivity. M any of the world’s most forward-thinking workplaces are deploying smart technologies into their offices to help optimise functions, increase productivity and improve overall working life. These new ‘smart buildings’ boost smart thermostats, which can measure the temperature of the building and turn on the heating or the air-conditioning when required, as well as intelligent lighting, which can be controlled remotely and adjusted to suit the time of day. When turning a building into a smart building, one of the key attributes is taking the data from the technology deployed and using it to make intelligent decisions. Smart buildings can significantly improve the lives of those occupying them and can also play a key role in helping the environment, however, as we have seen 74 time and time again, when Internet- connectivity is added into any piece of equipment it makes it accessible to the outside and by intruders. This ultimately means that when offices turn their workplaces into smart buildings, attackers have an even larger array of entry points to attack the organisation. When offices turn their workplaces into smart buildings, attackers have an even larger array of entry points to attack the organisation. Tony Atkins, Regional Director EMEA at Nozomi Networks A world of opportunity for attackers According to a report from IDC, Internet- of-Things spending is expected to reach US$745 billion globally this year. This shows just how popular smart technology is becoming and not just among consumers. Smart technology within buildings offers huge benefits and not just for occupants. It can also be used to significantly reduce costs and reduce the environmental footprint of the building by intelligently analysing data and understanding when, for instance, energy consumption can be reduced. An example of this was recently reported in Forbes when it was revealed that the New York Times’ head office in Manhattan managed to reduce its Issue 16 | www.intelligentciso.com