Building management systems, like many other solutions, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. It is vital to ensure that you protect them to ensure nothing malicious happens to your building. But protecting these systems from cyberattacks can be a daunting task for one reason:
Many people can potentially target your building management systems. You could be a target of your competitors, disgruntled employees, the state, or even industrial spies. In this article, we will help you know how to protect your BMS from any attacker.
Here are some great tips that you can use.
- Separate your BMS from the network.
This is one of the most important things to do. Your BMS can have vulnerabilities if you link it to the internet or your network. The best way to stay safe is by ensuring that it is delinked from either. That will help reduce your attack surface and, in the end, ensure your safety.
There are many ways to separate a BMS from your business’s network. The easiest is to speak with your OT security vendor to install firewalls or an air gap. They can use either to ensure that your BMS isn’t directly linked to your network and thus isn’t compromised.
- Be Careful When Installing A New BMS
There are times when you might want to upgrade your business solutions. And your BMS could be one of the systems that require an upgrade. It is advisable not to rush but to prepare well for the upgrade. One thing to do is start by building security into the design.
Then, you can go ahead and install a BMS after the security systems. Ensure that you protect the cables and other BMS components. An OT security vendor can help you install the BMS in a way that it is protected and defenders from vandalism or any potential cyber-attacks.
- Isolate BMS subnetworks
Your BMS might consist of various subnetworks that need individual protection. The easiest way to ensure that you protect these systems well is by isolating the subnetworks. This can be tricky to do for an untrained person, but there are OT security vendors who can help you.
These vendors will use virtual local area networks to help you do this. There are also other segregated network practices that they can implement to keep the subnetworks separate. It will be easy to ensure that a problem in one subnetwork doesn’t affect another if you do this.
- Change Your BMS’s Default Passwords
Password control is something else that you need to look into when protecting your BMS. It can be easy to get attacked if you fail to change the default passwords on your systems. This doesn’t only apply to your BMS but also other things like your workstation and field devices.
You should avoid using shared passwords to protect any of your security systems. Ensure that you make your passwords as complex as possible and even invest in a password management tool. This will make it harder for attackers to crack them and gain access.
- Create OT Security Awareness
Creating awareness can be an important thing to do if you have a BMS. You cannot ensure the proper security of your systems unless you involve other team members. This is one of the reasons to consider training everyone you are working with to protect your BMS.
Your employees should be at the top of the people you must train. You can also train your contractors and vendors on how they can contribute to securing your BMS. Tell them what your business’s expectations, policies, and procedures are, and they’ll help you with them.
- Perform security assessments.
Another good idea is to ensure that you assess the security of your systems. Regularly assessing your security can make it easy to protect your OT systems. It will make identifying security vulnerabilities on your network before they cost your business an easier task.
There are specific things to look out for when conducting these assessments. One of them is to know your easy access points. These are the areas of your network that attackers can easily use to access your BMS. You can seal these loopholes in advance to stay safe.
- Don’t forget former employees.
Sometimes you terminate an employee’s contract but forget one crucial thing. You leave them unlimited access to your systems, even after terminating their contract. The best way to stay safe is by terminating their physical access once you end their contract.
This will make it easier to prevent insider attacks on your systems. These attacks by insiders can sometimes be tricky to identify. The best thing to do is to ensure that they do not happen. Otherwise, you might lose a lot of valuable data before you even know it.
- Have A Security Incidence Response
A response plan is important for anyone looking to secure their BMS. There might be small loopholes in your systems that can be tricky to note. Should an attacker use them to gain access to your system, you must be ready to counter their attack with a good response.
This is where your security incident response should come in. Having a good plan will make it easy to act before an attack causes a lot of damage to your systems. It will be vital to ensure that you invest in the right tools to get alerts anytime a breach occurs.
Protecting your building management systems from attacks should be a top priority for your business. Although there are different types of attackers using unique techniques, this article has looked at how to stay safe. One thing you must do is increase your industrial cybersecurity.
There are many ways to do it, and one of them is by adopting OT solutions that will provide you with better protection. Various IT security vendors are available to help you revamp your security. You’ll need to pick an OT security vendor that fits your needs to get started.