Smart Building Cyber Attacks

The rise in smart building cyber attacks has boosted the global IT/OT security market. According to a recent report by market research company Frost & Sullivan, more and more smart buildings are adopting information technology (IT)/operational technology (OT) security services. Driving this growth is the growing number of cyber attacks around the globe as increased digitization in building operations has provided hackers with an opening.

That growth is poised to continue into the next decade. Researchers at Frost & Sullivan predict the market will reach $897 million by 2022, increasing at a record compound annual growth rate of 37 percent.

The new report, “IT/OT Security Convergence for Building Technologies,” analyzes key trends in the IT/OT security market, identifies the drivers and restraints, and sheds light on the competitive landscape and evolving market share of major participants.

According to the report, from 2014 to present, there has been an increase in the number of IoT devices and Frost & Sullivan predicts that trend will continue through 2022. Additionally, the report indicates the same trend will continue for building automation, security, and surveillance devices.

These smart devices are seeing widespread use in building management where they’re used for everything from temperature control, access control, lighting control, communication, and safety systems. However, with diverse protocols, hardware, and software systems, the OT devices controlling building operations are leaving smart buildings increasingly susceptible to cyber attacks.

“Today, smart devices control building management activities, including temperature control, access and lighting control, communication, and safety systems in many enterprises. Such converged IT/OT environment has made enterprises more vulnerable to cyberattacks,” Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Swetha R Krishnamoorthi said in a press release. “With diverse protocols, hardware, and software systems, the OT devices controlling building operations provide a heterogeneous environment. Coupled with IT devices and a common network connection, the attack surface expands, providing a thriving ground for cyber adversaries to play on.”

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Smart building cyber is not the only  industry seeing increased IT/OT implementation. Healthcare, hospitality, finance, and data centers also promise high growth opportunities for vendors in the market due to the high cost of cyber attacks in these industries.

In 2018, North America and South America accounted for 43 percent of the market’s total revenue share. Similarly, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for 40 percent of the market. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region represented the smallest segment of the market with just 15 percent. However, Frost & Sullivan speculates that the APAC region will acquire more market share in the future because the majority of opportunities for IT/OT security solution vendors  is predicted to arise from the EMEA and APAC regions.

“A positive economic outlook in the Western European countries and increasing demand from Australia, China, and India will drive higher revenues in the EMEA and APAC regions,” R Krishnamoorthi said. “Most of the requirement will arise from the healthcare, finance, and hospitality sectors.”

In addition to it’s predictions for the market, the report also includes a number of recommendations for vendors in the IT/OT security market looking to take advantage of this burgeoning market.

According to the report, vendors should align themselves with current tech trends by automating their solutions. This can be done by incorporating machine learning and deep learning algorithms to customize threat prevention and handling.

Additionally, Frost & Sullivan recommends employing a partnership-based, go-to-market (GTM) strategy to access a wider customer base. The report suggests that offering vertical-specific solutions and targeted GTM strategies will lead to faster customer acquisitions. Overall, the report indicates that focusing on threat-handling in addition to endpoint visibility and threat monitoring will ensure vendors are supplying a more complete solution for customers.

Malware, vulnerabilities targeting OT systems surge

Increasing threats of vulnerabilities are steadily rising, particularly in sensitive areas such as OT systems and network devices, putting vital infrastructure at risk, according to data released by Skybox Research

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