As more businesses undergo digital transformations, companies will need to invest in cybersecurity solutions; it’s just the nature of the beast. For those deploying intelligent building solutions, cybersecurity must be a priority, because smart buildings, with all of their connectivity, interactivity, and interfaces, offer many access points, which could act as gateways to business data that owners and operators would rather be kept private. To avoid being vulnerable to such breaches, owners and operators are looking to invest in cybersecurity, and their investments could help define the future and trajectory of intelligent building security solutions.

A new report from Navigant Research examines the cybersecurity landscape for intelligent buildings, as well as the general implications of increased IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity. The report points out that alongside creating a broader surface area for attack,

IoT-enabled devices and third-party entities have compounded the security issue by making it more difficult to detect threats, let alone address them.

Therefore, Navigant suggests intelligent building stakeholders take a proactive approach to cybersecurity threats. To do this, businesses can work upfront to determine their vulnerabilities and then commit to educating their enterprise teams about these vulnerabilities. Further, the research firm advises stakeholders to take a “layered approach” to cybersecurity, for instance, by building a cyber threat alliance that could further strengthen their line of defense. If businesses follow this advice, the research implies the cybersecurity for intelligent buildings market will respond by demonstrating steady and consistent growth in the near future.

Another trend to watch in smart buildings is the use of BIM (building information modeling), a collaborative process in which teams in AEC (architectural, engineering, and construction) industries can generate and manage digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. BIM helps make building lifecycle data accessible and usable by various stakeholders, potentially improving any and all processes involved in building and operating a structure.

In another recent Navigant report, the firm says BIM is playing a key role in accelerating the transformation of buildings into optimized, intelligent structures. Throughout the lifecycle of a building, BIM adds value that can ultimately support even bigger goals, including the development of smart cities and smart infrastructure, among others. Of course, with the increased use of data comes an increased risk of that data falling into the wrong hands and being used for nefarious purposes.

As business and society grow more connected, and as businesses and citizens expect more data about processes, technologies and collaborative tools like BIM and those that enable intelligent buildings will become the norm rather than the exception. However, cybersecurity needs to be a cornerstone for all IoT solutions and deployments. Otherwise, too many doors are opened for new types of cyberattacks on buildings and infrastructure. Instead of waiting to see what cybercriminals come up with next, proactivity is the key to safely leveraging data in today’s connected world.

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