Are Smart Devices Exposed to Hacking at Buildings and Hotels?

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Are Smart Devices Exposed to Hacking at Buildings and Hotels?

Smart devices are becoming an intrinsic part of modern buildings. We are increasingly seeing how an abundance of Internet-ready devices are transforming, mostly for the best, the way our facilities operate, including residential, hospitality, and commercial environments.

However, the steady-paced implementation of such technologies in our buildings also comes with considerable challenges.

Malicious agents have the potential to target and successfully exploit these smart infrastructures for profit. This is especially likely when manufacturers make mistakes, something we see happening more often than not.

The Case with HDL Automation

In early August, we witnessed a relevant case of smart devices as a liability for buildings and hotels. HDL Automation’s smart products showed considerable vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers with serious consequences.

HDL Automation’s products and services are designed for residential, hospitality, and commercial setups with considerable success. Their solutions for automation and modernization are growing in capabilities and popularity. 

The exposed vulnerabilities, which have been already addressed by the manufacturer, allowed hackers to access and take over debug user accounts, which were created automatically along with regular user accounts.

This debug user account takeover granted hackers with full access to the smart building system. Indeed, they could control everything that was connected to the network.

However, beyond altering adjustment and controlling key elements of the smart building, which is bad enough, probably the biggest risk was the potential extraction of sensitive information from secure databases on the HDL servers.

The Transition Towards Smart Buildings

Smart technologies like the ones offered by HDL Automation are increasingly present. Our buildings are getting smarter and it’s all because of these outstanding developments.

However, we need to be observant of how fast these developments are taking place. The transition towards smart buildings, as oftentimes discussed on our blog, is a major accomplishment for management, productivity, and security.

Thanks to smart devices and their automation capabilities, large facilities are becoming efficient in a way that would be considered fiction until recent years. This transition isn’t only inevitable but necessary for our production processes and cities move up to the next level.

Cybersecurity Implications

And while having fully functional smart buildings is a great achievement, there are important cybersecurity implications to have in mind.

Vulnerability situations just like the one regarding HDL Automation’s smart setups have occurred before and will again in the near future. Such complex technologies are prone to errors and this is something to take into account when implementing smart technologies in our buildings. The consequences of a successful cyberattack can be massive.

Businesses that are upgrading their properties with smart devices, automation, and BMS do so to gain more control and ultimately increase profits. So, the last thing they want is to give up control to malicious agents.

The answer beyond choosing trustable hardware is to implement the right cybersecurity solution from a reliable specialist. In this case, we must recommend a powerful BMS security platform such as Julie Security.

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