In April, during the 2014 Niagara Summit, a bi-annual user-group meeting produced by Tridium, an independent business unit of Honeywell. The summit is attended by developers, programmers, building owners, and engineers who work with the Tridium building automation platform and cybersecurity was the topic of a panel discussion. Panelists represented many companies in the security industry.

The cyber security panel was moderated by PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffery Brown and consisted of security experts from varied industries - including from Honeywell Automation and Control.

During Brown's intro, he said, "Unfortunately, our buildings and building networks are highly vulnerable — and the bad guys are getting better."

Brown cited these important takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Get the cyber security conversation started
  • Make security part of the organizational and building DNA
  • Seriously budget for security
  • Send people to training, and then evaluate your first experience
  • Rotate your system around and view it as an “evil bit,” and prepare your worst case scenario answers now — so, if an attack does happen, you control the message and certainly know who is responsible to respond
  • Regulations tend to create a culture of minimum compliance
  • Effective cyber security requires good security citizenship — awareness and and concern from everyone in the chain at every level."

Good to know. HVAC contractors who do commercial building automation work should take heed.