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Are smart buildings a way to better future?

date: 1 March 2016
reading time: 2 min

In the era of Internet of Things it was only a matter of time before we felt the unknown presence even when we are alone. As gibberish as it may sound, this is the reality – smart buildings are the new aspect of smartness all of us will sooner or later experience.

However fascinating the idea of do-it-all constructions may seem, it brings security threats. Not only to the buildings themselves, but more importantly to the people inside of them.

You may wonder why buildings are to be more of a threat than any other aspect of Internet of Things? Well, the answer is simple. They progress organically, through years, during which many renovations take place. And this is what makes the buildings more exposed. Changing as little as a fuse or a lamp becomes a security hazard since these seemingly little things may be examples of intelligent devices.

However, most attacks start as innocent pranks, orchestrated just for fun by digital vandals.

Why do these attacks happen?

The answer is simple – most buildings have too simple and unsophisticated security systems which are not able to handle the immensity of the construction. This is why it is easy for attackers to focus on retrieving personal, financial or even business information.

These aren’t the only problems, though – some actions may also have health and safety consequences.

Opening secure doors in prisons, switching off all the lights in big buildings, changing the temperature in tiny spaces… These are just a few examples.

What can be done to make the buildings more secure?

Gartner suggests to design and look at building’s spaces as a whole. They shouldn’t be neither developed nor renovated independently.

What is more, each new component must undergo a lot of security controls – monitoring devices and sensors that must be properly managed are just the beginning.

Even though smart buildings seem very interesting and may facilitate our everyday lives, we must bear in mind that we should take these new technologies with a proverbial grain of salt. Not only to feel safe, but also to be safe.

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