The ENTOUCH Blog

07. 21. 2017

How the IoT Is Bringing Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns to Surface for Facilities Management Companies

Internet of Things (IoT) devices, ranging from sensors to cloud-based systems, hold great promise for facilities management companies, creating smart, automated workflows.

The Economic impact of IoT could approach $6.2 trillion by 2025, reports Inderjeet Singh of LinkedIn. However, the nature of devices connected to the IoT means vulnerabilities may exist within these systems, but the IoT may have the solution to that too. Automated technologies, including Big Data analytics and energy management-as-a-service (EMaaS) penetration testing, can present issues to facilities management companies, allowing for the creation of a stronger, secure and durable network. Of course, understanding the top issues identified by the IoT is essential to your risk-management strategy and overall facilities management goals.

1. All Network Points Must Be Secured

All network points offer an entryway to the systems running within facilities management companies. While implementing smart, IoT-based technologies can lead to significant cost savings, it is important to secure all network points. This includes physical location of devices, sensors, and routers in your system, as well as the servers housing the facilities management system.

2. Cloud-Based Storage Raises Privacy and Data Ownership Concerns

With the advancement of cloud-based technology, the use of the IoT can be deployed in any setting. Unfortunately, there is still a sense of skepticism and woe behind the IoT. According to a 2015 survey, reports Andrew Meola of Business Insider, 44 percent of Americans were concerned about the possible theft of their data through IoT-connected devices. This extends to facilities management companies working with commercial or corporate real estate (CRE) providers. Moreover, the data generated by each device, like a single HVAC unit, brings up the question of data ownership. Who owns the data, and what can it be used for? These questions reflect concerns facilities management companies must answer.

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3. Centralized Storage and Analytics Need More Bandwidth

The IoT would seem to be the natural companion of WiFi and Internet access for consumers and users of today’s facilities management systems. However, more devices and greater data generation mean companies using such technologies must have added bandwidth to support IoT-enabled devices. More importantly, having ample bandwidth is critical to offering more services to your employees or building tenants, reports FacilitiesNet. As a result, your company will need to develop strong policies and procedures to ensure everyone is using the network as prescribed. For example, a CRE tenant using more than his fair share of bandwidth may need to pay a premium for service.

4. Automation Is Key to Preventing Unauthorized System Access

With an increasing number of data points and vulnerabilities, manual monitoring of the system is impractical. Your team cannot realistically watch every data stream to ensure its integrity, and if a problem exists, you need to know how to correct it at once. This is where IoT-connected devices pair well with automation. Automated systems ensure the proper level of reliability, bandwidth, data collection, storage, processing, analysis and re-use, if appropriate, explains Facilities Net.

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The Big Picture

The number of vulnerabilities will increase as your company moves toward an IoT-driven facilities management program. However, you can mitigate this risk by working with an experienced company to help implement and manage the system, like ENTOUCH. Learn more about how to enhance the security and strength of your facilities management program. Contact ENTOUCH.
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