Leveraging Identity Management Systems to Shield Smart Buildings from Siegeware

Restricting access to IT infrastructure, building systems, and software applications are crucial for a building’s safety. The smart building industry is snowballing, with some experts predicting a 23% compound annual expansion rate by 2025.

While the rise of advanced integrated building systems has positive effects on the environment, efficiency, and management, it also makes the industry vulnerable to attacks through siegeware.

To protect smart buildings from such vulnerabilities, managers can adopt identity management systems that recognize and validate users. With such a system, only authorized people will have access to building data and systems. Read on to understand siegeware, IMS, and how to implement the latter in your building management system.

Understanding Siegeware and How it Operates

Developing automation systems could come with various faults in some devices. Often, cybercriminals utilize one weak area in your system to seize systems in the entire building. How does siegeware work? Find out below.

How Siegeware Works

During a siegeware attack, cybercriminals block building managers and supervisors from intelligent systems using ransomware.

They only promise to let go once ransomware is paid. Often, hackers request ransom money in the form of bitcoin because it enables them to hide their identity. As technology advances, more buildings are getting linked to the public internet across the globe, making it one of the most susceptible industries to siegeware attacks.

Worth noting is that connected gadgets running on default settings increase vulnerability on the entire building. A hacker only needs to search databases online to establish target systems and access a gadget’s default details.

Defective third-party network security can allow infiltration through siegeware. Building managers should adopt strict network security to prevent breaches by only availing the building’s systems to a selected number of people.

Remember, if cybercriminals gain access to third-party details through an unsecured account or gadget, the entire building will suffer the consequences. One effective way to prevent seigeware attacks is by integrating an identity management system in your BMS (building management system). Let’s find out how the system works.

Understanding Identity Management Systems

Identity management is the idea of regulating the digital credentials of occupants in a building and granting or restricting access to certain assets for sole users. Identity management systems involve:

  • Databases validating identity through personal data that can describe individual users
  • Reporting and auditing structures
  • Tools that enable managers and administrators to add, remove, or modify parties who can view particular datasets.
  • Processes that control user access

Individuals should only have one identity in the system, but they can have multiple permissions that define the varying ways they associate with automated building systems. For instance, a building manager will have more access authorization than an individual from the maintenance staff.

Contractors, staff, and tenants usually have access to some components of a building management system (BMS), granting them control over some roles in commercial buildings. These roles may include control of smart lighting technology, physical access, and climate.

To facilitate this access, building managers should leverage multiple systems to manage particular user details. Often, these systems are a combination of on-premise and cloud-based applications where security and access systems should be established.

Effective building administrators assess credentials and regulate access on an individual-by-individual basis by overseeing identities over different platforms. Multi-factor verification may appear like a secure option. However, utilizing multiple passwords is not enough to guarantee robust security.

Some studies suggest that approximately 40% of workers access more than 100 software applications on average. They (employees) utilize between two to four passwords on average, and should one of them get compromised; the rest will also suffer. Experts recommend SSO (Single sign-on) access and multiple-factor verification. SSO enables users to surrender extra self-identification data without struggling to remember multiple passwords.

·         Access Configuration

Building managers can even configure access to eliminate the need for passwords while still guaranteeing security. For example, a physical token or card, smartphone application guarantees easy and seamless access. Such prevents the risks associated with weak passwords while restricting access to systems and data.

Access Control

Identity management helps verify a user’s credentials, while access control determines an individual’s authorization to access the information and execute the required action. Access control is ideal for safeguarding information for less careful individuals and reduces possible malicious activities.

Authorization and verification collaborate to safeguard systems and data. Access control policies are some of the first components to be assessed in case a breach occurs. They help establish whether the violation was deliberate or accidental, which is crucial when developing remotely accessed systems.

How to Administer an Identity Management System

Identity management enhances building security by regulating the number of users accessing the BMS and digital network. Best practices for administering an identity management system include:

  • Evaluating functions before allocating access privileges
  • Developing a checklist of all identities that need access, such as user accounts,
  • Communicating policies clearly, outlining the identities and functions that can access particular resources
  • API (Application Programming Interface) users, third-party users, and linked devices.
  • Restricting where and when users can access systems or data to prevent access past what is required
  • Setting up password standards into applications and processes that guarantee system security
  • Executing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) assessment to establish possible vulnerabilities to the building
  • Collaborating with a third-party service provider to offer neutral administration over BMS to prevent violations
  • Ensuring that policies are adhered to strictly and preventing additional rights from being created
  • Securing root-level access to restrict misuse of privileges
  • Evaluating and removing less frequently used details

When administering an identity management system and merging it with a building management system, always focus on security.

Merging Identity Management in Your Building Management System

Incorporating an identity management system into your BMS can be complex that relies on:

  • The security level you need
  • How comprehensive your system should be
  • The total interconnected applications
  • The number of users who need access

The integration process involves digital and physical access comprising readers, cards, software applications, and controllers that generate, manage, and protect user identities. Collaborating with a professional systems integrator is crucial in ensuring that you get all the necessary elements for an effective system with outstanding security.

In today’s digital age, where innovative technologies are presenting advanced vulnerabilities, an IMS built by experts can protect your building and its occupants.


Access and identity management standards must develop to cater to intelligent building technology challenges. As threats increase, robust access management will be crucial for managing the possible siegeware attacks and safeguarding building owners and occupants from the severe impact of hijacking.

Building managers and administrators will need to collaborate with cybersecurity specialists to develop strategic plans to facilitate access management in all intelligent buildings.

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