📽️Why You Should Keep Building Management Systems Separate from Your Business IT Network🏃

📽️Why You Should Keep Building Management Systems Separate from Your Business IT Network🏃

The Importance of Separating Building Management Systems from Your Business IT Network

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3 min read

In today's digitally interconnected world, building management systems (BMS) play a crucial role in ensuring the efficient operation, security, and sustainability of facilities. BMS encompasses a variety of functionalities, including access control, video surveillance, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. While the integration of these systems can provide convenience and centralized control, it is paramount to recognize the potential risks associated with merging BMS into your business IT network. In this article, we make a compelling case for the separation of BMS from your IT network, particularly when third-party providers are involved.

The Inherent Risks of Integration

  1. Security Vulnerabilities: Perhaps the most significant concern with integrating BMS into your business IT network is the increased attack surface. BMS components often rely on proprietary software and may lack the robust security measures found in enterprise-level IT systems. Consequently, they can become easy targets for cyberattacks.

  2. Third-Party Vulnerabilities: When third-party providers are involved in the setup and maintenance of your BMS, you introduce additional complexities and potential security risks. Third-party vendors may have varying security standards, making your entire network only as secure as the weakest link.

  3. Data Privacy Concerns: BMS often handle sensitive data, including access logs, video footage, and environmental monitoring. Integrating these systems with your IT network can blur the lines of data privacy and raise concerns about unauthorized access to sensitive information.

  4. Service Disruptions: If a BMS is integrated into the same network as your IT infrastructure, issues in one system can inadvertently impact the other. A failure in your BMS could lead to security lapses and operational disruptions in your IT network.

The Case for Physical Separation

To mitigate these risks effectively, a strategy of physical separation is recommended. This approach involves maintaining separate network infrastructures for your BMS and your business IT network. Here's why:

  1. Enhanced Security: Physical separation creates a distinct security barrier between your BMS and IT systems. This isolation limits the potential attack surface for cyber threats, making it harder for attackers to compromise both systems simultaneously.

  2. Control: Keeping BMS separate allows you to maintain full control over the security standards and practices specific to your building management needs, without impacting your core IT network.

  3. Improved Network Performance: Separating the networks ensures that traffic generated by your BMS doesn't compete with your business-critical data for bandwidth. This isolation leads to more consistent network performance.

  4. Simplified Maintenance: When issues arise within your BMS or IT systems, troubleshooting and maintenance become less complex and isolated. This separation streamlines problem-solving and reduces the likelihood of collateral damage.

  5. Compliance and Regulation: In some industries, regulations and compliance requirements mandate a clear separation between BMS and IT networks. Adhering to these standards becomes more straightforward with physically separated infrastructures.

Wrap

While the integration of building management systems into your business IT network may seem appealing for the sake of convenience, the associated risks are far too significant to ignore. Especially when third-party providers are involved, the case for physical separation becomes compelling. By maintaining separate networking infrastructures for your BMS and your IT network, you fortify your security, maintain better control, and ensure the uninterrupted operation of both systems. In an era where data privacy and cybersecurity are paramount, this strategy is a prudent step toward safeguarding your business and its assets.


Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa. 👉 Contact Fusion