Our CEO and other Blackpoint Cyber team members spent a week in Sin City a couple weeks ago, attending the IBCon/Realcomm 2018 conference. While no trip to Las Vegas is without excitement, the highlight of the conference was Blackpoint announcing its exclusive partnership agreement with RYCOM Corporation, a smart technology/building management provider. As part of the partnership, Blackpoint’s SNAP-Defense cyber security platform will power RYCOM’s HIVE-Defence offering for commercial smart real estate.
Check out this interview at IBCon with Jon and Casey Witkowicz, the president and CEO of RYCOM, answering questions about cyber security in smart buildings and how Blackpoint and RYCOM are securing these environments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=100&v=z1atb4IdVsA
The application of IP-based technology to buildings and entire cities brings many exciting benefits:
- Remote management and maintenance
- Operating visibility and preventive maintenance
- Optimization and efficiency
- Lower operating and ownership costs
- Improved human experience
For example, consider the energy savings in a building that automatically controls heating and cooling based on occupancy levels, or a traffic light system that can reduce congestion by adjusting its timing during rush hour or when it identifies increased traffic.
Exciting, But Dangerous
These types of complex sensor and control systems may sound futuristic, but the application of technology to buildings and cities [considered an integral part of Property Technology (PropTech)] is occurring rapidly. A clear parallel can be drawn to the recent rapid application of technology to the old-fashioned automobile. Today, surrounding the classic combustion engine is a suite of technology and networking that does everything from notifying you when you need an oil change and identifying cars in your blind spot to optimizing fuel efficiency and even driving the car itself.
While the application of technology (specifically IP-based technology) to buildings and cities is exciting, the importance of cyber security in PropTech cannot be overstated. While movies often portray the horrors of self-driving cars taken over by hackers, the consequences of poor PropTech security are just as bad, if not worse. Businesses and individuals rely on safe, secure buildings for working, shopping, entertainment, and shelter. Significant damage to or loss of control of PropTech systems can be catastrophic: physical damage, loss of business, degraded brand reputation, and even loss of human life.
A unique challenge with smart buildings and cities is the extensive mix of vendors and systems. These systems often need monitoring, maintenance, and updates so vendors and/or management companies often have direct access to them. While such access should be controlled (through VPN or other secure means), the high number of vendors increases the risk that something is misconfigured, a policy is ignored, or workarounds occur. For example, one client using SNAP-Defense realized that the entire OT network was directly exposed to the public Internet due to the mis-installation of one specific vendor. As secure as an OT network may appear, having real-time asset, network, and remote access visibility allows building management operators to identify and mitigate risks before an incident occurs.
When RYCOM needed a comprehensive cyber security solution to meet these needs, it turned to Blackpoint Cyber’s SNAP-Defense. With its NICOS module, SNAP-Defense is the first integrated IT and Operational Technology (OT) cyber security platform. Out-of-the-box, SNAP-Defense provides:
- Live Asset and Network Visibility
- Lateral Spread and Enumeration Detection
- Remote Access Monitoring
- Privileged Activity Monitoring
- Real-time Response and Mitigation
With the NICOS module, SNAP-Defense also identifies the following in smart building and OT networks:
- Known Bad Traffic, including unusual domains
- Obfuscated/anonymous traffic (TOR) which is heavily utilized in OT hacks
- Port scanning that occurs during the enumeration phase of a cyber attack
SNAP-Defense and its NICOS module assist in rolling out and maintaining this posture. Contact us today at email@example.com to learn more about the appropriate cyber security posture for smart buildings and OT; we'd be happy to answer your questions regarding our new partnership, our product, our smart cyber security in general.