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The Consequences of Neglecting Building Management System Updates

A Cyber Security Perspective for Building Owners

As the adoption of Operational Technologies (OT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices continues to increase in both new and renovated buildings, they have proven to be valuable in enhancing energy efficiency and improving tenant experiences. The ability of on-site engineers to remotely make changes from anywhere within the building has been a game-changer. However, in the race to improve efficiency and tenant experiences, building owners often overlook a critical aspect of building system management…regular updates for cyber security purposes.

The practice of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may seem practical when it comes to system upgrades as it helps to keep costs down for building owners. However, this can be a recipe for disaster from a cyber security perspective, especially for systems that run across networking equipment throughout the building. Failing to carry out regular updates can lead to increased vulnerability to cyber threats, resulting in potential disruption of building services or unauthorized access to sensitive data.

At 5Q, our team of engineers has observed a worrying trend during building cyber security assessments. Many Building Management Systems (BMS), security camera, and access control systems installed in the late 2000s and early 2010s are still running on outdated Windows 2012 R2 servers. These operating systems will no longer be supported by Microsoft with regular patching starting October 2023. Additionally, the hardware itself has been running for over a decade and is at risk of failure. The consequences can be dire if these systems were to go down, and building owners must be prepared for such scenarios.

Building owners must recognize the importance of regular maintenance and upgrades for their network infrastructure and supporting hardware. Cyber security must be a top priority to protect against potential cyber threats. As building systems become increasingly attractive targets for hackers, building owners need to proactively manage the cyber security risks associated with outdated systems.

It's time for building owners to act. If it has been more than 3-5 years since your building systems were installed, and you are unsure about the status of regular maintenance and upgrades, it's time to reach out for help. Contact 5Q here to learn how our services can provide you with peace of mind for your buildings’ systems. Don't wait until it's too late - prioritize cyber security for your building and ensure the continued efficiency and security of your buildings’ operations.

In conclusion, the adoption of OT and IoT devices in buildings has brought significant benefits to building owners, but the risks associated with outdated systems should not be overlooked. Building owners must prioritize regular updates and maintenance to protect against potential cyber threats. Contact 5Q by emailing our team at to help you protect your building from cyber threats and ensure the continued efficiency and security of your building’s operations.

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