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February 2020
Interview

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EMAIL INTERVIEWJim Lee and Ken Sinclair

Jim Lee, CEO, Cimetrics

Secured by Cimetrics

Secured by Cimetrics builds upon BACnet/SC and implements a suite of technology that makes BACnet/SC-based devices and systems fully secure and able to be managed in a secure manner.

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Sinclair:  You have a lot planned for AHR, please tell our readers.

Lee:  Yes, indeed Ken, we have a number of initiatives, and they all relate to cybersecurity, which I believe will be the key theme of this year’s AHR Expo.

We will be showing the world our Secured by Cimetrics™ (SbC) technology that we initially announced last AHR in Atlanta, and we will have a demo of SbC at our booth. We are also announcing an Early Access Program for SbC, and finally, we will be taking part in the New Deal Cybersecurity Summit on Tuesday morning in Orlando.

Sinclair:  That’s a lot. Tell me about Secured by Cimetrics.

Lee:  The release of BACnet/SC will finally create an opportunity to make BAS networks secure. The challenge is that BACnet/SC does not provide anything like the full solution to make the whole BAS secure; it only addresses securing the communication between BACnet nodes which is important, but insufficient. BACnet/SC, in fact, creates some new challenges that we are addressing in SbC.

Secured by CimetricsSecured by Cimetrics builds upon BACnet/SC and implements a suite of technology that makes BACnet/SC-based devices and systems fully secure and able to be managed in a secure manner. SbC addresses the installation and management of the all-important certificates that BACnet/SC mandates. SbC also enables secure and interoperable ways to manage devices, from application configuration, back-up/restore, updates, monitoring, capturing syslogs, and a whole slew of other critical functions.

We are introducing the SbC Appliance, an on-prem device that manages all of the BACnet devices, including the all-important Hub for BACnet/SC devices. Appliances can also act as a Firewall/Router to connect to legacy MS/TP and IP devices so that those devices can be secured as much as possible.

On top of that, we are creating a cloud offering called SbC Cloud. SbC Cloud will enable remote management of multiple buildings and multiple Appliances. We strongly believe that much of BAS will migrate to the cloud, and SbC Cloud will help the industry move and take advantage of this revolution.

Your readers can read more about Secured by Cimetrics on www.SecuredbyCimetrics.com.

I invite your readers to come to our booth #666 at AHR to see Secured by Cimetrics™ in action. If your time is tight, use this link to schedule a time for a one-to-one discussion about SbC.

Sinclair:  That’s a lot to bring to market, how is it being received?

Lee:  We have been talking about SbC with the major BAS controls and equipment vendors and their support enthusiasm for our SbC vision has been extremely positive. You may not know that Cimetrics’ BACnet stack is used by 60% of BAS manufacturers, and all those companies will get BACnet/SC as part of their ongoing use of our stacks. We are committed to making sure that BACnet/SC is implemented rapidly in the industry.

The interest in adopting the SbC management framework on top of BACnet/SC has been equally strong with everyone we have spoken with. With companies that use our stack, this becomes an easy path to providing the full suite of secure technology from the device to the cloud.

For those companies not using our BACnet stack, we are creating a consensus-building process to define specifications of standards that companies will implement to make their full offering secure and manageable. We are doing this as part of the SbC Early Access Program, also to be announced at AHR Expo.

Sinclair:  Tell me about the Early Access Program.

Lee:  In order to accelerate the adoption of the full security suite of technology that the industry needs, the SbC Early Access (SbC-EA) aims to get SbC to market as fast as possible. The program has three elements needed to do this, namely:

Provide SbC evaluation to those interested in adopting SbC.

Start a Consensus Building process to define missing necessary standards.

Coordinate education and marketing to move the industry forward.

The evaluation aims to put SbC in the hands of vendors that want to rapidly implement SbC. It’s somewhat similar to a beta program of the SbC technology. The Consensus Building aims to start a collaborative process to define missing standards that we will eventually put into the public domain and possible standardization by a formal standards organization. Education and marketing initiatives are all about getting the industry to increase its ability to deliver secure systems quickly, which brings me to the Cybersecurity Summit at AHR.

For more on the SbC-EA Program visit this link.

Sinclair:  What will the Cybersecurity Summit cover this year?

Lee:  The mission of the Summit this year is to make sure the industry is fully aware of what needs to be done to achieve fully secure buildings. Many BAS stakeholders have an understandably narrow view of what they need to do on cybersecurity, mostly because our industry has not had the background of security.

New Deal Cybersecurity SummitUnder the New Deal for Buildings umbrella, the organizer Anto Budiardjo has done a great job putting together a strong lineup of cybersecurity experts from JCI, Tridium, Delta, Loytec, Tosibox, Totem, KMC, BACnet International, and Cimetrics to talk about how we should do this.

We are using the NIST Framework to have this discussion. While a government framework may sound dry, the NIST Framework actually does a really good job to lay out the full range of issues that should be considered to make sure buildings are secure. In this article on the New Deal blog, this process is described in detail. It’s important for your readers to grasp the breadth, responsibility, and opportunity available to the industry. There will also be further articles on the  New Deal blog and in your February issue of AutomatedBuildings.com that cover the agenda of the Summit. Please join us at the summit, it’s free to all AHR attendees, and breakfast will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sinclair:  You mention the move to the Cloud, please expand on that thought.

Lee:  I think your readers are coming to a rapid understanding of the power of the cloud in their personal lives. Everything from Netflix to shopping lists and Google docs revolves around cloud services. Commerce is also rapidly becoming cloud-centric with CRM systems like Salesforce, cloud accounting systems, and an increasing number of SaaS platforms coming into our industry.

PlantPROCORE BAS has some catching up to do, and the opportunities for BAS players are significant. If you think about how IT/CISO organizations manage cyber threats and incident response, they are rapidly moving those activities to the cloud. It just makes significant sense for us to leverage the cloud for SbC.

Cimetrics is partnering with Padi.io to enable SbC Cloud. Padi.io is a company founded by Anto with a vision that all manner of BAS and other building services are delivered in the cloud using a Padi as a common platform, providing a single sign-in, single commercialization mechanism in a way that enables the integration of all BAS components from those managing on-prem devices to cloud-based SaaS offering.

We are certain that the future is in the cloud, and I encourage the industry to start thinking about how it can benefit from this revolution.

Sinclair:  Do you think 2020 is the cybersecurity year for BAS?

Lee:  It needs to be Ken.

IT and CISO organizations are demanding that BAS networks be more secure.
The default mode of thinking that BAS/OT networks as separate from the IT networks just doesn’t cut it with the major building owners that we talk to. The way forward is for BAS/OT to become secure and be part of what IT/CISO manage in their normal way, using their normal tools and processes.

Cimetrics is committed to this outcome.

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