Digitizing facilities management is quickly becoming the standard practice. Companies are turning to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription models and web-based controls for their facilities management department. Unfortunately, digitizing facilities management can open the door to cyber-vulnerabilities. However, understanding this risk and using managed services can ensure your improvements do not become hindrances.
Why Digitizing Facilities Management Can Increase Cyber Vulnerability
As explained by Loren Snyder of FacilitiesNet, building automation systems (BAS) were seen as “beyond the reach” of hackers and those with malicious intent. The rise of cloud-based technology opened the door to show hackers where systems were located, and it was only a matter of time before a vulnerability developed. Digitizing facilities management and connecting it to the internet increase the potential weaknesses within your systems, and with 84 percent of BAS-users connected to the internet, the risk is omnipresent. However, there is a solution. Unfortunately, the majority of cybersecurity vulnerabilities exist because of an inconvenience that arises, like needing to reset a password every three months, asserts Sean A. Ahrens of FacilitiesNet.
Managed Service Provides an Extra Layer of Cyber Security
One of the simplest ways to increase cybersecurity in your facilities management systems is through the use of managed services. Managed services refer to the third-party management of your systems, data storage and more. Moreover, managed services ensure all software is installed correctly, explains Deloitte, as well as reducing the risks of physical security by keeping information in the hands of authorized parties. Since a third-party is responsible for your data and cybersecurity, Facilities Managers can worry less about data vulnerabilities from trying to understand data through in-house analytics.
How to Improve Cyber Security in Your Facilities Management Systems Today
The ways to improve cybersecurity through the use of digital facilities management technology are standard practices. These are the same steps a business should take to ensure the cybersecurity of its point-of-sale systems, e-commerce portals, and employee-performance and tracking systems. Since the world is moving toward the virtual realm at high-velocity, it is impractical to avoid the cybersecurity concerns in facilities management discussion. Fortunately, Facilities Managers can reduce this fear by following A few best practices for improving cybersecurity and avoiding cyber-attacks, reports Ronald Kovach of FacilitiesNet, which include:
- Ensure firewalls are used, which help prevent unauthorized use and can detect potential penetration attempts as well.
- Encourage strong passwords among users. Strong passwords are essential to keeping hackers away from gaining easy-access to your systems.
- Limit vendor access to authorized parties only. Limited vendor access helps prevent vulnerabilities from developing.
- Update system settings often. Updated systems use the latest cybersecurity protocols to prevent unauthorized access, and in the age of cloud-based systems, upgrades are regularly scheduled.
- Ensure vendors’ systems leverage the latest cybersecurity protocols. This is another step because it involves verifying vendors’ systems use the latest cybersecurity measures to prevent the accidental breach of your data.
- Take advantage of managed services to monitor cybersecurity and maintain your BAS. Managed services can reduce the stress of updating and maintaining cybersecurity in your systems.
Increase Cyber Security in Your Organization, and Continue Digitizing Facilities Management
With recent events surrounding data breaches leading the headlines, it can feel like digitizing facilities management is the worst thing for your department. However, the benefits of digitizing facilities management include reducing facilities spend, creating predictive maintenance schedules and using connected systems to manage multi-site portfolios from a single location. Instead of succumbing to the hype and fear, Facilities Managers should follow the steps in this post to increase cybersecurity and take advantage of managed services. Bring your facilities management processes into the digital age by partnering with ENTOUCH. Visit ENTOUCH online, or call 1-800-820-3511 to get started.