Optigo Networks Blog
It’s been five years since the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its cybersecurity framework. A great deal has changed in technology over those years, but the framework remains absolutely critical in our world of growing connectivity.
And yet, I still hear confusion in the building automation world about what this framework means for us. Many buildings are slowly marching forward in that journey to “smart.” Do we really have to worry about cybersecurity?
Well, in a word: yes.
The worlds of IT and Operational Technology (OT) are merging more and more these days as the Internet of Things grows in prominence. This collaboration between IT and OT is great, but there are still gaps in understanding that keep these worlds from fully working together.
IT and Operational Technology (OT) are similar: they both deal in data, handle security, and require training in their fields.
But they aren’t the same. Their use and collection of data are distinct; they have different security concerns; and the training and certifications aren’t equivalent.
Think your site doesn’t have problems? Think again.
A study of two years’ worth of data found that a whopping 76% of files have significant issues.Unresponsive devices pop up on 71% of files Response times of 5 seconds or more show up on 34% of files Unresponsive routers appear on 24% of files Global Who-Is Routers affect 19% of files Duplicate Networks impact 12% of files
These are key issues that can have devastating effects, especially on large, multi-vendor networks.
At Optigo, we firmly believe IT and OT teams can work together in any number of ways. Your network could be separate or converged, and you could assign responsibilities based on expertise or device type. Really, the only “wrong” way to work together is not at all.
With that in mind, we’re exploring all the ways you and your colleagues can team up. What workflows can you put in place? How can you assign responsibilities? How We Work is a series where we dig into the technical and social sides of managing building networks.
BACnet/IP predominantly communicates through broadcast messages, which are received by every device on the same network. Broadcasts are super important for discovering devices or finding and sharing new information. On big systems, though, you can’t have every device on every network sending and responding to broadcasts. If you broadcast to an entire system, it could bring the whole building network down. But sending individual messages from device to device would be overly complicated.
OK, so we understand that BACnet is a communications protocol.
Well, Ethernet, IP, and MS/TP are the ways that BACnet devices can communicate with each other. Think of these as phone calls, emails, and text messages: they’re speaking the same language, but not using the same mediums. You can have a mix of BACnet IP, MS/TP, and Ethernet in your building. So, how exactly are they different?