Smart building technology is transforming automation and controls for commercial buildings by connecting various systems into a single IT-managed infrastructure. This technology collects data to manage critical building systems, including HVAC, lighting, elevators, and security.
Benefits of Smart Buildings
- Improves occupant comfort and security – Occupants enjoy a safer, more comfortable workplace, leading to increased worker productivity.
- Saves Energy – Energy costs are the biggest expense in commercial buildings. System administrators can manage components for peak efficiency.
- Reduces operating expenses – Improves building efficiency by identifying overused and underused areas and making real-time adjustments to systems like HVAC and lighting. This leads to cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint, making the building more environmentally friendly.
Challenges of Cybersecurity for Smart Technology
Increased dependency on technology can leave companies vulnerable to cyberattacks and security threats, putting entire networks at risk with a single breach. Strong safeguards and preventative measures are needed to protect sensitive data from theft and loss. Such safety measures should include firewalls, encryption, and multi-factor authentication. Separating building management systems from other networks helps prevent hackers from accessing critical building systems, and regular vulnerability assessments are essential to identify weaknesses.
McKenney’s buildingCONNECT Solution
McKenney’s offers customers buildingCONNECT, a cloud-based interface for building automation and controls. Cloud-based solutions provide significant advantages over on-premise data storage and controls. buildingCONNECT is encrypted for state-of-the-art cybersecurity and supports all major equipment manufacturers, allowing facility managers to control environments using real-time data for maximum efficiency.
Promoting Best Practices in Cybersecurity
Employee training and awareness programs can promote best practices and raise awareness of vulnerabilities and risks. The biggest cybersecurity threat is human error. The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommend the following steps to eliminate potential risks.
- Update software when notified to do so.
- Use strong passwords to make it more difficult for unauthorized users to access information.
- Do not click on suspicious links. This could allow malware to be installed.
- Recognize and report phishing attempts. These may look like they are from reliable sources but are an attempt to trick users into clicking bad links or giving sensitive data.
- Use multi-factor authentication to make it more difficult for accounts to be hacked.
McKenney’s is a leading mechanical contractor offering a full range of services to meet customer needs. Contact us for more information about our buildingCONNECT software solution.