Your Unsecured HVAC Business May Be Putting Clients At Risk

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Cybercriminals understand this, which is why they often go after vendors and service providers connected to a target, instead of the target itself.

While a major bank or hospital may have effective cybersecurity measures in place, often their HVAC vendor doesn’t.

This poses an important question – are you putting your clients at risk?

HVAC Business In The Orlando Area Unsecure Without IT Services

Smart Technology Is Being Targeted By Hackers

Have you considered how the Internet of Things can affect security? Up to 20.4 billion IoT devices will be online by the end of this year, so it’s important to understand how they work and what they mean for cybersecurity.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a natural evolution of the Internet, consisting of a myriad of new “smart” and “connected” products and technologies for the commercial, consumer, and government environments.

Although such systems may have been known in the past as Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, with the advent of cheap, ubiquitous Internet, cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity, new uses and efficiencies have extended the functionality of these legacy systems.

In addition, on the consumer and office side, vendors are rushing to meet the growing market demand for new products that are always-on, connected, and available. Unfortunately, aspects of product security and lifecycle are often treated as an afterthought at best in the development and production of these products.

This leaves users with numerous standalone networks of devices, with proprietary and custom protocols, and not much of a standard for control, management, or oversight of these devices. As these intranets of devices are ultimately connected to the internal and public Internets, new vectors to launch attacks against important assets and networks are provided to adversaries and hackers.

Recent advances in HVAC technology have applied smart technology to consumer controls and management systems. If you’re not making sure they’re secured, then you’re leaving your clients at risk.

If these devices aren’t safeguarded, there’s a lot of potential consequences resulting from hackers:

  • Capturing information traveling through the network.
  • Turning off the refrigerator, alarm system, etc.
  • Changing the temperature of the house.

Fortunately, smart devices can be protected with a range of different security solutions, including:

  • Encryption, such as WPA2, which allows you to use long passphrases and complex characters while setting up the password.
  • Firmware that, when kept up to date, will deal with any standing vulnerabilities that have been discovered
  • Simply changing the channel on your router to something that’s atypical, in order to make it harder to find and hack into.

Need Help Securing Smart HVAC Technology?

The best way is to ask for help – SemTech IT will help implement robust security measures for your smart devices, deploying security devices like firewalls and antivirus software, patching best practices, intrusion and gateway protection and more.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

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