According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be 26 billion wirelessly connected devices on the Internet of Things (IoT), data of some sort will be produced by every one of these devices that is connected to the internet. Gartner predicts that 20% of buildings will have suffered from digital vandalism by the end of 2018, what does the future hold for building owners and occupiers? It is perhaps inevitable then that a smart, machine driven world will undoubtedly give rise to smart intelligent buildings which are vulnerable to attack.
The smart building will be the workplace of the future, it will analyse a person entering a building and tailor to each individual recognising what physical access they require, what devices they have on them and what information they may need. The office will know what that person’s preferences are for light, temperature and type of room they require. It could even alert you to someone who might be useful to a project you are working on.
This sophisticated IT kit brings with it a set of potential problems, security being its main concern. Vandals love destroying things, none more so than in cyberspace. Digital vandals will devote an inordinate amount of time creating malware that will damage computer systems and data, affecting every element of a business. They are certainly going to have a field day with smart buildings and all that web-enabled technology.
Smart building components should not be considered as independent entities but must be viewed as part of the larger organisation security process. Products must be built to offer acceptable levels of protection and hooks for integration into security monitoring and management systems.
Smart cities and buildings are clearly the future but the potential for whole buildings to be turned into darkness is a reality. Insufficient and inadequate security could result in serious economic, health and safety, and security consequences. Computers that monitor and control the ordinary but critical systems such as water treatment and distribution, sewage, oil and gas pipelines to electrical transmission lines, wind farms and nuclear power plants could be targeted.
Our reliance on information technology has brought with it a whole host of cyber security risks. The threat levels to smart buildings will need to be addressed by building owners, operators and occupiers so they can protect their assets. Failure to do so is the same as neglecting common health and safety issues. As more and more buildings get connected to the internet and remotely controlled through cloud based software, security will only grow in importance.