Unlike attacks on a server, modifying the systems of an intelligent building can have a physical impact on its inhabitants. Is it reasonable for people be wary about working and living in an establishment that relies so heavily on technology?
Smart buildings have the opportunity to provide a much better environment for the people living and working within them. These devices can deliver just the right amount of service when required and switch off, or deliver reduced service, when they are not required. A building with a smart heating system that reacts to the local environment to provide a constant pleasant temperature is infinitely preferable to the type of heating system that is switched on October 1st and switched off April 15th with no regard to unseasonable heat waves or cold snaps. If we are to reduce our energy consumption and reduce our carbon emissions, we’re going to need technology to help us achieve these goals, smart buildings are certainly going to help with this.
Technology has brought many benefits to our lives, and can do the same for the built environment. However before the technology is deployed the security aspects need to be considered and correctly managed. Technology permeates so much of our lives that we tend not to notice it. In many ways this should be the goal of technology, to quietly enhance our lives without us being aware of it. As security professionals we need to ensure that this is true of smart buildings and to ensure that the security posture of the building is compatible with the security needs of the activities that taking place inside.
Martin Lee will moderate a Risk Forum on this topic at the 2013 EuroCACS / ISRM Conference that will take place at Hilton London Metropole on the 16th - 18th September 2013.
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