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Energy Management System Tridium Security Breach, “Never think you’ve seen the last of anything”… Eudora Welty

With so many Energy Management System (EMS) vendors clawing their way into existence, security at times seems an afterthought. A fitting quote from award winning author Eudora Welty in light of Tridium’s latest news byte from Network World. Truth is many companies in the EMS market go through great lengths to harden their hardware/software as much as possible. Security is an ongoing product improvement process. That said, platforms built from the ground up with security in mind (from the device level) generally have the advantage of rapid improvement (plugging security holes). While others require hardware redesign or major software overhauls.

There are a few important trends to illustrate why security is so important beyond the obvious of having some 13 year old hacker changing your thermostat settings: EMS is rapidly migrating squarely into the realm of IT. Case in point, nearly all EMS products reside on “the” network, the domain of IT organizations.

In addition, most EMS products have managed service or analytics service options requiring an Internet connection. The fact that EMS products run on an Enterprise network with connections to cloud services (over public networks) means IT groups must manage these security risks. Regardless of what finger pointing that may occur within organizations that have disparate facilities management and IT groups, network security is generally the responsibility of IT. This public breach of Honeywell’s Tridium EMS brings to light the need of IT organizations to be the significant player in EMS implementations.

EMS Cloud services are increasing in number as the market plays into more solid verticals, such as hospitality (hotels) those from Telkonet and Office Building optimization from BuildingIQ. Cloud service management also falls into the realm of IT organizations with all the responsibility of management, maintenance, and security oversight.

One of the reasons The HTRC Group is developing EMS Vision is to help IT organizations and building managers find the right EMS solution.

My Plug: The HTRC Group’s EMS Vision provides energy management system product and service analysis to key decision makers, enabling informed smart infrastructure decisions. The need for EMS is blurring the separation of IT organizations and facilities management. Business needs are evolving and are forcing IT organizations in the service provider and enterprise markets to manage and implement new kinds of EMS products and services. Subscribers have access to critical information and analysis on EMS market trends, new products and features, and insight into market events. The rapidly evolving EMS market requires understanding; EMS Vision delivers timely information and analysis.