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InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Leader Addresses Cybersecurity for Intelligent Buildings at Realcomm Events


Atlanta — Dec. 22, 2014 — Fred Gordy, operational technology manager, McKenney's Inc., and chairman of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Cybersecurity Committee, spoke recently on the cybersecurity threats faced by facilities at two events sponsored by Realcomm.

Realcomm is a promoter of technology, automated business solutions, and intelligent buildings strategies for real estate executives.

Gordy is an advocate for protecting buildings from cyber-attacks and leads efforts to educate members of InsideIQ, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors, on this issue.

During the Realcomm Real Estate CIO Forum in Atlanta, Gordy’s presentation, titled “Building Systems Tech Briefing – Cybersecurity to Prescriptive Analytics,” covered the topics of how hackers use social engineering to breach networks and how IT professionals can recognize the meta-characteristics of a breach.

For a related Webinar, “Building Cybersecurity – Understanding and Getting Ahead of the Threat,” Gordy participated on a panel of industry experts.

Cybersecurity experts have identified building automation systems (BAS) as being particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and in his CIO Forum presentation Gordy explained simple but effective ways facility operators can guard against hackers.

“Social engineering is the process of engineering a situation to your advantage,” Gordy said. “For hackers, this means obtaining account information through spying, misrepresentation – such as by impersonating someone – or other means in order to gain access to a network. IT managers need to be aware of this practice and understand that many networks are actually hacked using legitimate log-in information.”

Gordy explained that by looking for patterns, or meta-characteristics, that do not fit the normal routine, IT professionals can tell if their systems have been hacked. For example, a building may typically have 20 set point changes in a week during the summer, always between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“If analytics reveal variations to a pattern, for example 20 set point changes late on a Saturday night, then IT staff can look at these instances more closely and determine if a hack occurred,” he said.

For the Realcomm Webinar, Gordy participated with some of the best minds on building cybersecurity to discuss and evaluate problems and solutions for operators of smart buildings. Whether it is a criminal hacker, a disgruntled employee, or a serious terrorist threat, building owners, managers, and operators must be proactive in confronting this issue, Gordy and the other panelists asserted.

“Fred Gordy is an example of the type of technology experts that are employed by InsideIQ member firms and whose knowledge and expertise is available to all members,” said Paul Strohm, president of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “Our members are industry-leading firms at the forefront of innovation in the building automation industry who share best practices so our customers have access to the latest technology and BAS applications available.”

Realcomm Real Estate CIO Forums and Webinars serve to educate CIOs and other senior IT professionals in the commercial real estate development industry on smart-building technology issues. Realcomm produces annual conferences and expositions on technology, automated business solutions, and intelligent-buildings strategies for real estate executives.

InsideIQ is an Industry Partner for IBcon, the intelligent buildings conference presented by Realcomm. InsideIQ member firm McKenney’s is a leading mechanical contractor in the southeastern U.S.


Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 12/24/2014

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