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InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Leader Addresses Cybersecurity for Intelligent Buildings at Realcomm Events

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Blue Ridge Technologies

Fred Gordy of McKenney’s Inc. Advises IT Professionals on Preventing BAS Hacking

ATLANTA — December 22, 2014 — Fred Gordy, operational technology manager, McKenney's Inc., and chairman of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Cybersecurity Committee spoke recently on the Cybersecurity threats faced by facilities at two events sponsored by Realcomm, a promoter of technology, automated business solutions and intelligent buildings strategies for real estate executives. Gordy is an advocate for protecting buildings from cyber-attacks and leads efforts to educate members of InsideIQ, aninternational alliance of independent building automation contractors, on this issue.

During the Realcomm Real Estate CIO Forum in Atlanta, Gordy’s presentation, “Building Systems Tech Briefing – Cybersecurity to Prescriptive Analytics,” covered the topics of how hackers use social engineering to breach networks and how IT professionals can recognize the meta-characteristics of a breach. For a related Webinar, “Building Cybersecurity – Understanding and Getting Ahead of the Threat,” Gordy participated on a panel of industry experts.

Cybersecurity experts have identified building automation systems (BAS) as being particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and in his CIO Forum presentation Gordy explained simple but effective ways facility operators can guard against hackers. “Social engineering is the process of engineering a situation to your advantage,” said Gordy. “For hackers, this means obtaining account information through spying, misrepresentation– such as by impersonating someone –or other means in order to gain access to a network. IT managers need to be aware of this practice and understand that many networks are actually hacked using legitimate log-in information.”

Gordy explains that by looking for patterns, or meta-characteristics, that do not fit the normal routine, IT professionals can tell if their systems have been hacked. For example, a building may typically have 20 set point changes in a week during the summer, always between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. “If analytics reveal variations to a pattern, for example 20 set point changes late on a Saturday night, then IT staff can look at these instances more closely and determine if a hack occurred,” said Gordy
For the Realcomm Webinar, Gordy participated with some of the best minds on building cybersecurity to discuss and evaluate problems and solutions for operators of smart buildings. Whether it is a criminal hacker, a disgruntled employee or a serious terrorist threat, building owners, managers and operators must be proactive in confronting this issue, Gordy and the other panelists asserted.

“Fred Gordy is an example of the type of technology experts that are employed by InsideIQ member firms and whose knowledge and expertise is available to all members,” said Paul Strohm, president of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “Our members are industry-leading firms at the forefront of innovation in the building automation industry who share best practices so our customers have access to the latest technology and BAS applications available.”

Realcomm Real Estate CIO Forums and Webinars serve to educate CIOs and other senior IT professionals in the commercial real estate development industry on smart building technology issues. Realcomm produces annual conferences and expositions on technology, automated business solutions and intelligent buildings strategies for real estate executives. InsideIQ is an Industry Partner for IBcon, the intelligent buildings conference presented by Realcomm. InsideIQ member firm McKenney’s is a leading mechanical contractor in the southeastern U.S.

Reliable Controls About InsideIQ
InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance is an organization comprised of independent commercial building and facility automation companies representing common automation and security system platforms. Our member firms across North America, Europe and Australia share best practices among more than 5,200 employees at over 110 locations. Members specialize in the design and implementation of facilities and process control systems, systems integration, enterprise security systems, facilities maintenance services, energy services, and the representation of other value-added products and services. The largest independent organization of its kind, InsideIQ member companies provide consistent applications, coordination, and support for commercial facility owners. More information is available online at www.insideiq.org.

About Realcomm Conference Group
Realcomm Conference Group, LLC is the leading research and educational institution that produces annual conferences and expositions on technology, automated business solutions and intelligent buildings strategies for executives in commercial, corporate, government and institutional real estate. Realcomm was founded in 1999 with the goal of bringing industry leaders together each year to discuss, demonstrate and debate the latest innovations that impact the industry. Today, in addition to the annual conferences, Realcomm conducts webinars, workshops and other strategic services to educate industry professionals about the latest business solutions and technologies to improve commercial real estate development, leasing, management and operations.  www.realcomm.com


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