• How companies can protect building management systems from hackers

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Financial consequences of a cyberattack, broken down across six categories. Source: “Understanding the economics of IT risk and reputation,” IBM, Nov. 2013. The harder a building system is to crack, the better the chances that a would-be hacker will ignore it

Cybersecurity measures that are both cost-effective and simple to implement

Common sense measures can help mitigate building management cybersecurity risks and any resulting financial losses. The following best practices can boost system resiliency and make BMS installations less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

  • Password management: A recommended best practice is to change the credentials when devices are unpacked, before connecting them to the internet.
  • Network management: The best practice for USB ports is to disable the “AutoRun” feature or, at minimum, limit physical access to the ports. For systems that run on open protocols, a risk assessment can determine any need for added security.
  • User management: Safeguarding a system from within has become a paramount concern as building systems have evolved into multiuser GUI systems.
  • Software management: Software security patches should be applied as soon as they are available. However, only authorized, trusted users should deploy and install software.
  • Vulnerability management: Establishing a formal vulnerability management document for each installation is a recommended best practice.

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