IoT cybersecurity

Smart Buildings: Efficient and Resilient. But Secure?

Aided by advances in the Building Internet of Things, smart buildings are on the rise. Here are three reasons why.

By Isaac Chen and Cory Mosiman  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Cybersecurity: Understanding Smart Building Vulnerabilities Pt. 3: How Hackers Exploit Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Pt. 4: Smart Buildings and Facilities Management: 3 Applications Pt. 5: BACnet/SC Aims to Improve Cybersecurity

The Building Internet of Things (B-IoT) is quickly making its way into all aspects of commercial real estate, and B-IoT startups are craving to get a piece of this massive market pie. As control technologies, work order management systems, and portfolio level operational tools become easier to implement and automate, the next generation facility manager will oversee facility network operations and B-IoT system implementations. Facility managers and owners must be ready for these new technologies – understanding their use cases, how they will affect facility operations, the associated cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risks associated with implementing these technologies, and how to protect their facilities and tenants from these cyber risks. 

Smart buildings, enabled by B-IoT devices, are creating radical shifts in the way that buildings are designed, implemented, operated, and managed. B-IoT-based, data-driven building system design, decision-making, procedure automation, and system control will be the main focus of smart building technologies within the next decade. According to a report from Memoori, the total market for big data in smart commercial real estate is expected to grow to $35.8 billion by 2023, an increase of about 20 percent over 2018. As more internet-connected devices are being incorporated into facility operations, facility managers and IT professionals must be prepared to work closely together on creating and managing effective cybersecurity policies and procedures for facilities. 

The intention of smart infrastructure is to help improve the overall security and safety, resilience, usability, and efficiency of infrastructure assets, while reducing the amount of human capital and intervention required to achieve the results.

The desire to achieve more intelligent buildings stems mainly from three areas.

The first is operational cost savings. B-IoT-style solutions enable increased data collection, promoting monitoring-based commissioning, fault detection and diagnostics, and overall improved operations.  Combined with cloud-based data analysis and machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, data collection enables predictive facility maintenance, ultimately helping facility managers increase asset utilization and further operational cost savings. Additionally, these solutions enable centralized, remote, and portfolio-level facility monitoring and management, allowing facility staff to diagnose, prescribe, and verify maintenance from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

A second area driving intelligent building technology is real-estate efficiency. Commercial building space is often underutilized by tenants, and companies like WeWork are disrupting traditional leasing structures and capturing larger profits from the same leasable areas. As telecommuting and desk hoteling become more commonplace, traditional real-estate developers are using B-IoT technologies to better understand real-estate utilization and reposition themselves in the market.

A third area of opportunity is occupant-centric design. Buildings have long underperformed for the people using them, regardless of market vertical. Designing buildings to be more occupant-centric allows users to interact more seamlessly with their environment, which is achieved mainly through B-IoT technologies.

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  posted on 3/5/2019   Article Use Policy

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