Five ways to securely analyze BACnet data

Learn how to securely analyze BACnet data with these tips
Five ways to securely analyze BACnet data

You’ve spotted a problem on your BACnet network. Devices are dropping like flies, with no apparent explanation. You need to get a packet capture (pcap) if you want to dig in and untangle what’s happening. But the IT department’s worried what sensitive information could be leaked if you pull any data. You’re at a stand-off, with conflicting needs.

Trying to convince your IT department that you can safely pull pcap files? Here are five ways to keep IT out of your OT.

1. Use Wireshark


Wireshark is a useful tool that is local to your computer. Download the program and you’ll be capturing and analyzing BACnet data in no time. Unfortunately, Wireshark is not as easy to use as it is to secure: it’s notoriously challenging to master, and few people can confidently call themselves a “Wireshark Guru.” If it is your only option, though, you can certainly learn to navigate the program. Check out our webinar on Advanced Troubleshooting BACnet in Wireshark.

2. Use Visual BACnet

Visual BACnet is as secure as it is easy to use. While the program is hosted on the cloud, privacy is always a priority: all data that is uploaded into Visual BACnet is encrypted, both in flight and at rest. Visual BACnet helps you quickly visualize, assess, and diagnose problems on your BACnet network, with advanced diagnostic checks. A concrete network health score lets you instantly know if your network is in critical or optimal health. You can even schedule packet captures, which will upload directly into Visual BACnet for you to assess. Learn more.

3. Filter for BACnet data

Filtering in Wireshark or our free capture tool will ensure you only get the information you need, and none of the data you don’t: no sensitive IT information will even be captured in the file, let alone uploaded into Visual BACnet. Read our article on filtering for BACnet traffic, or watch our quick video below for step-by-step instructions to isolate BACnet data in Wireshark.

4. Scrub the file

Still concerned about the sensitive nature of the data? You can anonymize your pcap file to keep information secure. By switching the devices’ IP addresses with fake ones, any leaked data cannot be traced. Be sure to keep track of what address translates to what, though, otherwise you won’t know which devices are causing problems! Read our article on securing packet captures in Wireshark and WireEdit

5. Buy Visual BACnet Enterprise

Securely analyze BACnet data with Visual BACnet Enterprise

Visual BACnet Enterprise is a secure cloud that is site-specific and hosted on your server. It guards against malicious outsiders, so you can safely analyze your BACnet network. If you have a large, highly sensitive network, this is your best option for keeping data secure. Contact us to learn more about Visual BACnet Enterprise.

IT and BACnet networks have different functions, but they don’t have to be at odds. These are just a few ways you can better understand your OT devices’ behaviour, without jeopardizing the security of your IT network.

Learn more about Visual BACnet and Visual BACnet Enterprise

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Recent Projects

Coventry University


Chris Goodman, the Senior BMS Technician at Coventry University, had broadcast storms that were happening more and more frequently. 

Ongoing construction due to Coventry’s campus expansion meant lots of new activity, with technicians installing new devices and making network changes. Already juggling these constant additions and alterations, Goodman and his small team then had to deal with the subsequent broadcast storms. As the broadcast storms became more frequent, Goodman and his team needed a solution.

Find out how Visual BACnet helped Chris solve the broadcast storms and improve Network Health in our free case study!

Data center expansion with OTI and Optigo Connect


Stack Infrastructure is a portfolio of hyperscale computing data centers. OTI completed work on Phases I and II, and returned for the Phase III build-out of a 4-megawatt data hall and brand new central plant. The Optigo Connect network put in place in Phases I and II was expanded on this project. The team achieved quick roll-out of a large, multi-service redundant network using the Optigo OneView management interface. Going forward, the facility management team can use OneView to remotely monitor equipment, manage power usage, and meet up-time goals.

Optigo Connect MR Soluciones The Landmark


The Landmark is a sophisticated mixed-use high-rise in Mexico. The owners wanted to integrate all OT systems in the skyscraper, while maintaining separate networks for each application. The Landmark is the fourth joint project between Optigo Networks and MR Soluciones. Together, these companies provide robust services to meet any challenge.

Australian Bureau of Statistics at 45 Benjamin Way with Delta Building Automation


Delta Building Automation (Australia) had a big job renovating the Headquarters for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at 45 Benjamin Way. The building owner wanted to improve the building’s energy use and increase their National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) score to more than 4.5 stars, out of a possible total of six. Securing the network both internally and externally was a big priority, as well.

Penn State University Optigo Networks Visual BACnet


When Tom Walker looked at Penn State University’s Navy Yard network, he saw huge issues. The system was busy and loud, to the point where the overrun network was bringing down the entire building. Because this was happening on the MS/TP network, pinpointing the problem would mean boots on the ground to segment and test the chain, piece by piece.

Penn State University Optigo Networks Visual BACnet


When Tom Walker first started working at Penn State University four years ago, there were a lot of network issues. Buildings were dropping offline. Broadcast traffic was pushing 90,000 packets per hour. Walker was on the phone almost every single night because devices were down or had to be reset.


Torre Manacar Mexico City Optigo Connect


When MR Soluciones began work on Torre Manacar, they knew they needed a flexible and scalable network infrastructure to support a wide array of integrated systems. Optigo Networks was a natural fit for the massive project, designing a robust network at a competitive cost.



Short Pump Town Center, an upscale retail center, underwent a complete renovation in 2014. The flexibility of Optigo Networks’ solution meant the retail center’s unknown final design was not a barrier to placing IP surveillance equipment in the field.



Optigo Networks connected New York-based Boulevard Mall’s security surveillance devices in December 2015, using a Passive Daisy Chain topology.

Visual BACnet tech support team


One tech support team at a manufacturer purchased an account with Visual BACnet in April 2017, for technical problems around the world.