Smart Buildings and Cybersecurity

Rapid adoption of IoT-based systems, which offer dramatically lower operating costs, is driving rapid growth in the building and facility automation marketplace.

Fremont, CA: It is difficult to address the critical problem of cybersecurity in today's smart buildings. Building automation, like the manufacturing industry, is undergoing a digital transformation. End users are increasingly abandoning older proprietary systems in favor of edge-to-cloud computing architectures. To collect as much data as possible, there is a push to deploy more low-cost sensors, both wired and wireless. Simultaneously, the industry has a significant installed base of legacy building automation systems, applications, software, and networks that must be handled, maintained, and eventually modernized.

Smart Buildings and Cybersecurity

Rapid adoption of IoT-based systems, which offer dramatically lower operating costs, is driving rapid growth in the building and facility automation marketplace. These systems' primary goals are to enhance occupant comfort, reduce energy usage and overall cost of ownership, run building systems effectively, and extend the lifecycle of utilities.

Digitizing these systems provides a tremendous opportunity for building or facility owners and managers to reduce energy and maintenance costs. Commercial buildings consume over 70 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. Many buildings are older and use obsolete legacy technology; retrofitting the building control infrastructure will dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership while also improving security and safety.

Digitization Can Cut Down Lifecycle Cost and Increase Cyber Risk

As per the most recent data from the US Energy Information Administration, the majority of commercial buildings in the country were designed before 1980, while newer buildings are frequently much larger in size and much more complex in terms of the types of building controls needed. According to the US Department of Energy, commercial and residential buildings account for approximately 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, providing a substantial opportunity for the next generation of IoT-enabled systems to help reduce the sector's significant carbon footprint.

HVAC systems and lighting, for example, are the most energy-intensive components in commercial and residential buildings. Buildings and, to a lesser degree, HVAC systems have standard lifecycles of 20 years or more. It is critical to revisit control strategies when updating HVAC systems, altering building spaces, or adjusting use patterns. New smart, digital building monitoring and control technologies can help enhance occupant comfort and provide information to help the building run as effectively as the physical structure and equipment enable.

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