The security of customer BMS and IT systems is of the utmost importance to BuildingIQ, and our products and policies reflect that. BuildingIQ stays abreast of and uses the best practices as they emerge from the IT security community whose sole focus is on quickly dealing with current threats and anticipating future ones.
BuildingIQ collects and stores only information directly related to control, optimization and monitoring of the BMS system, and never collects personally identifiable information (PII) about its customers except with their explicit written permission. We have strict policies and technical measures to ensure that all collected information is protected from access by other customers, unauthorized staff members and general public, except when a customer gives us explicit permission to distribute some of their information for development, testing, training and/or marketing purposes. In all cases, all exchange of information is restricted to BuildingIQ systems, protected with industry-standard encryption protocols, and limited to technical data such as real-time and historical BMS sensor readings and control settings.
There are three main clusters of computing components in the BuildingIQ product suite:
- the front-end browser-based web client that provides the user interface with which our customers directly interact.
- BuildingIQ Site Agent, a propriety hardware/ software solution installed at the customer site that interacts directly with the BMS system.
- BuildingIQ cloud servers which perform all thermodynamic modeling and most computationally-intensive optimization calculations, as well as storage and retrieval of BMS data for use by these calculations and fault analysis.
While continued connectivity between the cloud servers and the BuildingIQ Site Agent is required for optimal system behavior, provisions are made for the BuildingIQ Site Agent to continue uninterrupted operations in the event of temporary loss of connectivity with the cloud.
All BuildingIQ cloud servers are hosted on one of the most trusted and secure hosting services in the US. All information exchanged between the BuildingIQ front-end and cloud servers is transmitted using highly secure SSL, TLS and HTTPS protocols, protected by industry-standard strong encryption technologies which provide bidirectional encryption and authentication of communication that prevent eavesdropping and forging of information by unauthorized third parties.
BuildingIQ Site Agent communicates with the BMS system using industry-standard and well-established tightly controlled and governed by a fine-grain RoleBased Access Control (RBAC) system, with all passwords stored using industry-standard one-way hashing algorithms (SHA-512 with salt) and all communication authenticated through secure (2048 bit or higher) RSA SSL certificates and protected by high-grade (256-bit or higher) encryption algorithms. For additional security, all RSA certificates are systematically validated through a trust chain established by a dedicated BuildingIQ Root Certificate Authority. Finally, all of our servers, as well as BuildingIQ Site Agent, are further protected using industry-standard transport-layer IP firewalls that physically limit access to all BuildingIQ resources to a minimal subset of network locations such as selected BuildingIQ servers and/or BuildingIQ premises as appropriate.
This document outlines the most important aspects of information and infrastructure security policy, such as the safe use of the Internet, working from remote locations, as well as identification and handling of sensitive information.
BuildingIQ energy optimization products strive to provide a holistic approach to energy management.
To this end, our system exhibits a highly heterogeneous structure whose components utilize a diverse spectrum of technologies, infrastructures and business systems in order to deliver to our customers the best possible fulfillment of their energy control, monitoring and analysis needs. For most customers, these technologies, infrastructures and systems include:
- shared BuildingIQ cloud infrastructure,
- BuildingIQ Site Agent, a propriety hardware/ software solution installed on individual customers’ premises,
- customers’ existing HVAC (BMS) system,
- customers’ existing Ethernet infrastructure,
- customers’ telephone/ADSL network,
- utility companies’ metering and DRAS networks, and the public Internet.
Given the diversity of these systems, BuildingIQ recognizes fully the potential for abuse of our network and the ramifications that such abuse could have for our customers’ business and infrastructure integrity.
For these reasons, BuildingIQ is committed to safeguard security of our customers’ information and infrastructure, employing the best practices and technologies from the business and IT security communities, and to continuously review our policies and IT infrastructure in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.
BuildingIQ security vision is formed around a multilayered security strategy that provides controls at multiple levels of infrastructure and data access, control, transfer and storage, integrating further with the unique security requirements of individual customers’ infrastructures and policies. The strategy consists of the following components:
- BuildingIQ corporate security policy,
- organizational security
- physical and environmental security,
- operational security,
- access control,
- system development and maintenance,
- disaster recovery and business continuity, and regulatory compliance.
Corporate Security Policies
BuildingIQ is committed to the security of all infrastructure accessed or controlled by our software, and all information stored on our computer systems.
The foundations of BuildingIQ’s commitment to security is the set of security policies that cover physical, account and data securities, customer privacy, corporate services, network, computer system and infrastructure security, change management, incident response, data handling and retention. These policies are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their continued effectiveness and accuracy.
In addition to these security policies, with which all BuildingIQ staff members and consultants must comply, employees are also given a Security Primer.
To oversee the security of its systems, BuildingIQ employs a full-time Network Operations and Security team responsible for development, documentation and implementation of BuildingIQ’s security policies and standards, as well as maintaining the company’s perimeter defense systems, developing security review processes and building customized security infrastructure. Specifically, the Network Operations and Security team undertakes the following activities:
- develops and continuously reviews security plans for BuildingIQ networks, systems and services using a rigorous, multi-phase process,
- conducts regular security design and implementation reviews,
- conducts security reviews of new BuildingIQ system deployments on customer infrastructure,
- provides ongoing consultation on security risks and possible solutions to security concerns, including regular alerts and newsletters about newly discovered security threats and best practices for BuildingIQ staff and customers.
- monitors the BuildingIQ network for suspicious activity and follows formal incident response processes to quickly recognize, analyze and remediate information security threats,
- monitors the BuildingIQ network and responds to faults posing threat to business continuity,
- engineers technological solutions to minimize opportunities and impacts of such faults,
- drives compliance with the company’s security policies through routine evaluations and internal audits, and
- engages outside security experts to conduct regular security assessment of the BuildingIQ software and infrastructure.
Information Classification and Control
BuildingIQ recognizes that sensitivity of information varies with its nature. To this end, BuildingIQ developed a four level information classification policy, under which, all information handled by BuildingIQ employees and/or stored on its network infrastructure is assigned to one of the following security levels:
- Public information, which requires no special protection and may be disseminated freely without potential harm to BuildingIQ business or to its customers privacy requirements. Examples of public information include this whitepaper and all other material made available on BuildingIQ web site, buildingiq.com.
- Propriety information, dissemination of which is generally limited to BuildingIQ staff and which may be made available to customers and other external parties only with permission of the information’s owner. For example, all BuildingIQ software distributions are classified as propriety.
- Restricted information, for which access is limited further to specific BuildingIQ employees, departments and individual customers.Permission to broaden dissemination of restricted information must be always explicit and made in writing by the information’s owner. Examples of restricted information include all data originating from our customers or sales contracts under negotiation.
- Confidential information, which unauthorized disclosure could seriously and adversely impact BuildingIQ business or its customers, for example software licenses, security certificates, administrative passwords and business strategy documents. All access to such information by persons other than its owner must be approved on individual basis by an appropriate party within BuildingIQ, specifically relevant senior management for business-related information, or the head of Network Operations and Security for information that is purely technical in nature.
Initially, it is BuildingIQ policy to classify all information as restricted, unless specific reasons exist to assign it to one of the other three security levels.
BuildingIQ takes the privacy concerns of our customers very seriously. While the vast majority of the information handled by BuildingIQ software and stored on our network is of purely technical nature, such as weather data, BMS sensor readings and control settings, we recognize that some customers may be nevertheless interested in the potential commercial value of such data, or concerned about its ability to serve as a low-bandwidth covert channel for dissemination of information about their business practices and operations. In addition, our access control and technical support needs require that a small amount of personally identifiable information, such as login accounts and details of technical, operational and billing contacts within the customer’s organization be stored in our system.
Accordingly, it is our strict policy that all data collected about or through our customers’ infrastructure (including their BMS systems) and all information pertaining to identity of our customers’ organization structure and personnel, must be always classified as restricted unless explicit written permission was given by the customer to use such information for marketing, training or development purposes.
In particular, in an absence of an explicit written permission, distribution of such information is always restricted internally within BuildingIQ to staff members who require it for approved business operations in line with the information’s primary nature, and never made available externally outside of the company. All electronic transmission of customer information must be via secure means such as network connections protected with strong encryption technologies and stored on systems that are subject to restrictive, fine grain access control mechanisms.
Physical and Environmental Security
BuildingIQ requires that all of its operational and business systems be located in properly secured physical environments, such as professional data centers with restricted access to our servers or locked compartments within premises under BuildingIQ’s direct control. Whenever operational needs require that non-public information be accessed through unsecured or shared infrastructure such as public Internet or customer’s local area network, appropriate strong cryptographic solution must be applied to ensure security of information through technological means. In no event does BuildingIQ allow information provided by one customer to be transmitted, encrypted or otherwise, using another customer’s infrastructure.
Operational Security Network Security
BuildingIQ employs multiple layers of defense to help protect the network perimeter from external attacks.
Only authorized services and protocols that meet BuildingIQ’s security requirements are permitted to traverse the company’s network. Every node on the BuildingIQ network is individually configured to accept only the minimal set of connection types and protocols required to fulfill that node’s operational purpose. Unauthorized packets and connections are automatically dropped, with all violation of security policies logged for analysis by our Network Operations and Security team. Access to all networked devices is restricted to authorized personnel and controlled by a central access rights management system managed by the Network
Operations and Security team. Whenever possible, access is limited to devises within the BuildingIQ network and all external access is routed through selected and carefully monitored public interface nodes. All network communications are required to be protected using industry-standard strong transport layer encryption protocols approved by the Network Operations and Security team, including SSL, TLS and HTTPS.
Operating System Security
All BuildingIQ network servers are based on an industry-standard Linux operating system, configured and regularly audited to restrict the amount of software installed at each node to the minimal amount of functionality necessary to fulfill the node’s operational purpose. The entire network is carefully designed to segregate unrelated system functionality on physically distinct servers in order to further minimize the security exposure of individual system nodes. All systems are regularly upgraded to keep the in line with the latest security patches and developments. In addition, all our Linux systems are equipped with the AIDE intrusion detection software, which automatically identifies any unauthorized changes, alerts the Network Operations and Security team of the event and, whenever possible, attempts to automatically recover the original system state as described in the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity section below. Finally, our email server and all our Windows desktop machines are configured with up-to-date anti-virus and spamprevention software.
BuildingIQ employs a state-of-art monitoring program by subscribing to and following advise from all relevant security advisories, performing regular security log audits designed to identify both external and internal threats to the integrity of our network, deploying and out-of-line server monitoring system based on the industry-standard Nagios platform, and commissioning periodic external security audits of our network and software infrastructures.
In order to safeguard the integrity of our business and engineering systems, BuildingIQ is committed to prioritize handing security-related events over any other engineering matters, and second only to incidents that impact operational integrity of any customer-owned infrastructure entrusted to our care.
All incidents reported to the Network Operations team are logged and prioritized based on their severity and potential impact and remedied in as timely a manner as possible.
BuildingIQ Network Operations and Security team actively scans and audits the company’s network and servers for security threats using commercial tools, regular log analysis, intensive automated and manual penetration efforts, quality assurance (QA) processes, software security reviews and external audits. Once a legitimate vulnerability requiring remediation has been identified by the Security Team, it is logged, prioritized according to severity and assigned to an owner within the wider Engineering Team. The Security Team is responsible for tracking and following up on the vulnerability until it can verify the success of its resolution.
Use of Resources
BuildingIQ recognizes that security of its network and servers relies, in part, on a correct functioning of Internet system external to the company. To this end, we have developed a Good Neighbor policy, which require our staff to adhere to a strict code of conduct in their usage of the company’s network resources.
In particular, BuildingIQ employees are prohibited from participating in peer-to-peer networks or any other services reasonably likely to aid dissemination of copyright-infringing information, from engaging in unsolicited email (spam) campaigns, and from engaging any technologies that place an unreasonable network load on any infrastructure owned by our customers. The Good Neighbor policy is constantly reviewed by the Network Operations and Security team to account for recent technological and legal developments in the field.
BuildingIQ requires the use of a unique user account for each employee, and strictly prohibits any sharing of passwords and/or accounts by different persons, whether internal or external to the company. This account identifier each person’s activity and ensures that every user remains accountable for his or hers actions across the BuildingIQ network and systems.
Upon hire, an employee is assigned the User ID by Human Resources and is granted a default set of privileges as appropriate for his or her role within the company. At the end of a person’s employment, policy requires that all access is revoked from that user’s account, but that the account itself remains in the system in order to retain the full record of the user’s past activities and prevent creation of similarlynamed accounts for future employees.
All employee accounts and their rights are maintained on a central LDAP based system managed by the Network Operations and Security team.
Where passwords or passphrases are employed for authentication, systems enforce BuildingIQ’s strong password policies, including requirements of sufficient password length and complexity as well are restrictions on password reuse.
BuildingIQ makes widespread use of two-factor authentication mechanisms such as SSL certificates, RSA public key cryptography and one-time password generators. All RSA certificates are required to be at least 2048 bits in length and all SSL certificates must be signed by and validated against the BuildingIQ Root Certificate Authority maintained by the Network Operations and Security Team.
Identical standards of care are also applied to all external customer accounts on our network.
All BuildingIQ systems are designed to provide a fine-grained access control mechanism, whereby the rights to invoke any particular service on a given resource can be granted to and revoked from any user account independently of other services and resources in the system. Access by external customer accounts is similarly protected with a fine-grain hierarchical role based access system systems, under which an individual user’s rights always represent a subset of the rights granted for the resource to the user’s organization, as well as its parent organizations within the system. The precise scope of system functionality available to individual users is controlled within the user’s organization’s limits by distinguished super users of that organization, as well as the owners of any resources being accessed.
BuildingIQ’s policy is to log all administrative access to every BuildingIQ production system and all data.
These logs are reviewable by Network Operations and Security team on an as-needed basis.
System Development and Maintenance
It is BuildingIQ’s policy to consider the security properties and implications of all applications, systems, services and infrastructures used or provided by BuildingIQ as part of its business activities and product portfolio. All external systems and infrastructures are subject to security review by the Network Operations and Security team, while all software developed internally is required to adhere to a best practices policies and is subjected to periodic security audits by the Network Operations and Security team, Quality Assurance Team and external security consultants. Security-oriented development practices include:
- review of all network-accessible APIs and technologies by Network Operations and Security team,
- adherence to coding style guidelines,
- use of established frameworks with a welltested code base,
- use of well-understood open standards for network communication and other securitysensitive functions,
- peer code review,
- continuous integration and other QA processes, and
- multi-layered security testing.
The success of this approach hinges on BuildingIQ’s quality-driven engineering culture, where key objectives include software quality, robustness, resilience and maintainability. While these goals are primary aimed at fostering creation of all high-quality software artifacts, they also represent significant and scalable drivers toward reducing the incidence of security flaws and defects in software design, since existence of detailed design and documentation is an essential prerequisite of the security review process, and most security vulnerabilities are introduced through relatively minor oversights on the developer’s part that are fairy easy to remedy given adequate software quality controls.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
To minimize service interruption due to hardware failure, natural disaster, malicious action or other catastrophes, BuildingIQ implements a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity program, comprising of the following:
- application of version control to all source code and system configuration, which guarantees that all changes to the system state can be retained indefinitely, identified and reverted or reapplied on demand,
- use of the industry-standard Puppet server management system for automated recreation and/or replication of faulty server,
- frequent, regular backups of all operational data, collected at least daily (and for most data sources at least 2 to 4 times every day) and retained for at least a year,
- application of redundant implementations of all servers and services, deployed as self-balancing active solution whenever technically possible, or as a hot or warm stand-by server otherwise, and
- retention of all log data for at least a year after collection.
Whenever possible, BuildingIQ endeavors to distribute its system across geographically disperse premises and retain its data backups at diverse locations spanning third-party data centers and multiple BuildingIQ offices across US and Australia.
BuildingIQ recognizes that its business spans multiple jurisdictions with diverse regularly requirements regarding issues such privacy, handling of customer information, disclosure and other business practices. We are actively working with our legal team to develop a set of policies that reflect the legal reality of every legislature in which we have developed business interests.
BuildingIQ is committed to keeping its infrastructure, the infrastructure entrusted to it by its customers and the information handled by its systems safe and secure. Every component in the BuildingIQ energy optimization and management product array has been designed from the groundup with security in mind and fitted with flexible, finegrained access control mechanisms to enact the
particular security requirements of our customers.
Each of the ten components of BuildingIQ’s multilayered security strategy is endorsed and defended throughout the organization.
Site Reference: https://buildingiq.com/resources/case-studies/