Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Bill Behn and Ken Sinclair
Bill Behn is CSO for Tosibox, a Finnish company specializing in
networking devices for secure remote access to commercial and
industrial building management environments. Tosibox is, at its core,
an industrial VPN system. Here we talk about why that’s important for
the success of the Internet of Things. We also touch on the Niagara
connection with the Summit happening this month, and examples of where
Tosibox is being deployed in commercial buildings.
Sinclair: Why are VPNs an important foundational element for building management systems these days?
Behn: Virtual private
networks are crucial to the IoT. First, there’s the need to protect all
the data going back and forth between connected devices and the cloud.
Then there are the cost-saving opportunities that secure remote access
offers controls contractors. Building owners need to trust that their
data is secure and building operators need to know that they can get to
the data when they need it, and from anywhere in the world.
Sinclair: How do industrial VPNs differ from the VPNs people are used to with remote access to email clients, for example?
Behn: The biggest
difference between industrial VPNs and those geared for IT or the
general public is scalability. The Tosibox VPN infrastructure, for
example, scales infinitely. The Lock hardware is placed at the edge of
the network, connecting to the Central Lock (either hardware or
software). The Key device can be granted access at various levels
depending on the user and their needs. The connection architecture
remains the same regardless of network size. And also, industrial VPNs
are audited for higher security standards. The key to security at scale
is having a direct VPN tunnel between physical devices where only
trusted devices can access the network. The data is not traveling out
in the open; it’s always private and only visible to those who have
been granted access.
Sinclair: Tosibox is a new name to me. Can you provide some examples of where it’s used in commercial buildings?
Behn: We’re not able to
discuss most buildings specifically, but Tosibox is currently deployed
around the world. In the United States, Tosibox has been used to
establish secure remote connections in apartment, retail and office
buildings, across cities and municipalities, in arenas, supermarkets
and gas stations. There are also many industrial examples of Tosibox
use, including power plants.
Sinclair: I’ve heard you’ll be at the Niagara Summit this month. What is the Niagara connection?
Behn: The Niagara
framework is the most popular building management platform in the U.S.
today. Niagara 4 is undoubtedly expanding the capabilities of building
networks. We believe that the platform can go even further when it’s
part of a truly secure whole building solution that is capable of
remote management and advanced data processing. As we discussed at the
beginning of this interview, secure VPNs are the foundational elements
to achieving those lofty goals. We’re not exhibiting ourselves, but Controlco
is our master distributor in the U.S. so we’ll be at their booth
helping to explain what Tosibox is and how it can help operational
technology networks add value to the whole building.
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