The wake-up call of the Colonial Pipeline attack is catalyzing stronger mandates for securing operational technology and critical infrastructure.

With increasing sophistication in cyberattacks plaguing every sector of industry, smart buildings are at heavy risk. In response, one provider of smart-building solutions has resorted to adopting public key infrastructure (PKI) technology.

Any operational interruptions in a smart building can be costly, and can damage societal trust. With Operational Technology (OT) being heavily digitalized with IoT devices, many processes can be automated, but this also increases the attack surface. The recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident, is just one demonstration of how cities and even an entire country can be disrupted for days or weeks by a single cyberattack.

That is why Johnson Controls has decided to utilize the DigiCert ONE PKI platform for tightening security. Said the firm’s Executive VP and Chief Customer & Digital O, Mike Ellis: “By mitigating the risk of costly operational interruptions due to cybersecurity attacks while providing resilient, trusted smart building solutions that use the most advanced PKI technology, we will offer a clear advantage for smart building operations.”

The partnership elevates security within the OT and IoT space to ensure that hardware, software and communication remain trusted throughout the lifecycle of the smart building. This approach brings modern PKI security as well as advanced expertise in managing digital certificates to provide device authentication and identity, data encryption and integrity for each component of the ecosystem. 

Mike Nelson, VP of IoT security, DigiCert said owners of smart buildings can have confidence that IoT devices are safely- and securely- connected to the network using a robust PKI solution that singularly offers container-based, cloud-native technology for fully automated certificate management with flexible deployment and secure and simple integration with the existing smart building ecosystem. 

In future, these firms will also be working on accelerating innovation in connectivity and intelligence at the Edge.