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April 15, 2024

Top 3 IoT-Related Threat Pathways and Solutions

Top 3 IoT-Related Threat Pathways and Solutions

IoT devices present some of the common vulnerabilities that nefarious cybercriminals target. Popular IoT-related security vulnerabilities range from the lack of adequate security controls, regulations and standards to simple default passwords and innate threats. Cybercriminals can use various routes to exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices and networks, which have become

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

April 15, 2024

From Local to National: How the World’s Construction Giants Scale

From Local to National: How the World’s Construction Giants Scale

If you want to grow your construction company, you’ve come to the right place. Are you looking to grow your construction company from a local business to a world construction giant? This is no mean feat, but it is possible.  In this guide, we’ll break it down step by step and discuss different tactics you could employ to grow your business. By the end of this guide, you’ll feel more confident about the next steps to take. Understanding Local Success But before we get onto that, we need to understand what it is to be successful locally. Understanding local success in the construction industry is pivotal for companies aiming to expand nationally.  You need to:  Through this, you can gain your consumers’ trust and gain valuable insights into regional dynamics. Local success serves as a springboard for expansion, providing a solid foundation for navigating challenges and seizing opportunities on a national scale.  What is Strategic Expansion? Strategic expansion is a crucial phase in the growth of construction companies. International expansion requires meticulous planning, extensive international marketing analysis, and a deep understanding of cultural nuances and regulatory frameworks. When thinking about strategic expansion, it’s important to think about the political stability, economic landscape, and legal environment of target countries. Construction companies must also evaluate factors such as labor availability, material sourcing, and local construction practices to ensure operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Strategic partnerships and alliances with local firms can facilitate entry into foreign markets, offering valuable insights, resources, and access to networks. However, expanding internationally poses risks, including: Mitigating these risks requires robust risk management strategies, contingency planning, and adaptability to unforeseen challenges. Building National Presence Building a national presence is a pivotal step for construction companies aiming to expand their operations beyond local markets. Using Technology and Innovation Advancements in technology have transformed the construction industry, offering new tools and methodologies to enhance efficiency, productivity, and safety. Digital Construction Tools Construction Management Software Prefabrication and Modular Construction Drones and UAVs IoT and Smart Construction Green Building Practices Technology is crucial for developing businesses.. What About the Challenges and Risks?  Overcoming challenges and risks is a critical aspect of successfully scaling a construction business to a national level.  Try to stay on top of regulatory requirements at the national level. You should establish robust compliance procedures and ensure all projects adhere to legal requirements to avoid fines, delays, and legal complications. Manage supply chain risks by diversifying suppliers, maintaining strategic inventory levels, and establishing contingency plans for disruptions such as material shortages or transportation delays. Invest in training and development programs to deal with any labor shortages and skill gaps. Manage financial risks by maintaining adequate cash reserves, securing financing from reliable sources, and implementing stringent financial controls. Conduct thorough financial analysis and forecasting to identify potential cash flow constraints and plan accordingly to mitigate financial risks. Whilst it might seem daunting, try to stay on top of everything and you should be fine. If you do run into problems, though, always seek help! Sustainable Growth and Future Outlook Sustainable growth is important for all companies, particularly construction companies.   Following these steps will help you to grow your company. But remember, success comes in many different forms, so don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t happen immediately. 

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Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things Combo Can Help Unlock Green Engineering Savings

Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things Combo Can Help Unlock Green Engineering Savings

Artificial Intelligence (AI), using the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions is essential to building owners and managers. Apart from improving building performance, it can go a long way in lowering carbon emissions, energy use and costs, which are hallmarks of green engineering. Smart buildings are touted as a vital tool that will aid in decarbonising the construction sector and reduce global temperature rise. For people who may not know, smart buildings are structures that utilise a combination of digital and automated tools to optimise performance. Figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2020 Global Status Report on energy-related CO2 emissions paint a grim picture. The built environment and associated operations accounted for 38% of energy-related CO2 worldwide emissions. Even the COP27 Climate Conference in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, recognised the significance of building decarbonisation. More than 140 of the events captured the role of tech initiatives like AI and IoT in the real estate sector. Intelligent and purpose-made building solutions based on IoT and AI play an essential part in providing long-term sustainability in the globe’s building sector. After all, the 2021 Global Status Report for Building and Construction points out that the world’s building stock should be at net zero emissions by 2050. Smart technology can be used to keep track of a building’s aspects and overall management. It can range from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to the consumption and allocation of energy. AI incorporating IoT can elevate the building’s management system by allowing it to learn, analyse and solve problems for better optimisation and decarbonisation infrastructure. AI’s Role in Enabling Smart Building Systems AI’s role in our day-to-day lives cannot be understated. From social media handles to entertainment streaming programs, AI has latched onto every device or gadget we use. However, on an industrial building scale, AI can hasten society’s journey of curbing carbon emissions. Let’s look at HVAC systems as a real-life example. HVAC and lighting alone account for approximately 50% of energy usage in a standard commercial building like a casino. It means that coming up with central and automation technologies has a huge impact on reducing waste and conserving energy. A standard, non-programmable thermostat that doesn’t use AI, is set at the required temperature. If the temperature deviates from the setting, an automatic response triggers the HVAC through an electrical connection. In the presence of AI technology, the existing HVAC can be enhanced to learn, analyse and solve problems. Consider a casino lobby with revolving doors that allow outside air into the premises. A typical HVAC equipment would find it a hassle to maintain the changing temperatures. However, with an AI-upgraded HVAC, the system immediately studies and adapts to the dynamic environment for efficient, pocket-friendly heating and cooling. The concept can go further in a casino’s main playing area filled with tables and slot machines. Unlike online casinos where players can play from the comfort of their couches or on the go, their land-based counterparts cannot enjoy the same luxury. Many casino players flock to the casinos on weekends where you’ll find packed tables and slots during peak evening hours. With the power of machine learning (ML), AI can conclusively deduce that a casino’s communal gaming area gets warmer in the evening as more patrons fill up the tables and slots. Better yet, the AI can adjust the air conditioning before the evening period, ensuring the area’s temperature remains constant. The AI’s quick and concise auto-adjustment not only preserves energy, it also allows the patrons to play casino games in a comfortable scenario similar to their peers at online real-money casinos. If the casino uses smart/intelligent tables for their games, the players’ experience will get better through improved ratings and responsible gaming. Climate change is a global concern where with intelligent technology systems, there can be knowledge sharing, brainstorming and collaborations among industry stakeholders. There are innovations in Europe that have leveraged AI and IoT to better their buildings. In the UK, Manchester Metropolitan University has initiated an internet-based Building Management System (BMS). The BMS has automatic controls and round-the-clock internet browser access to air quality and lighting, alarms, updates and scheduling for temperature. With such innovations, the university’s recently constructed Grosvenor East Building was certified ‘Excellent’ courtesy of the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Efficiency AI combined with IoT is intelligent enough to use machine learning to provide environmental and financial benefits 24/7 all year round. If we incorporate smart management into our buildings, and lower energy use and emissions, AI is capable of a safe and sustainable future for humanity.

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Top 3 IoT-Related Threat Pathways and Solutions

Top 3 IoT-Related Threat Pathways and Solutions

IoT devices present some of the common vulnerabilities that nefarious cybercriminals target. Popular IoT-related security vulnerabilities range from the lack of adequate security controls, regulations and standards to simple default passwords and innate threats. Cybercriminals can use various routes to exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices and networks, which have become an easy way to perpetrate malicious attacks on companies and supply chains. Here’s an overview of three IoT-related threat pathways hackers use and their solutions: 1. Botnet Attacks In recent years, retailers have faced sustained threats from botnet attacks that seek to compromise misconfigured and vulnerable IoT devices across retail locations. A botnet is an internet-connected device that has been compromised by malware. Several such devices are called botnets. Cybercriminals use botnet attacks to gain unauthorized access to networks and systems, steal customer credentials and payment data and complete DDoS attacks. One of the botnets that has successfully infiltrated the retail sector is Mirai. The botnet compromises routers, cameras and other enslaved IoT devices to amplify DDoS attacks. Despite being discovered back in 2016, the botnet’s source code was leaked, which led to the development of numerous variants that the retail sector has found challenging to track. Malicious actors also use botnets along remote access trojans and infostealers to carry out large-scale attacks, facilitate browser access and camera viewing and relay attack commands. Cybersecurity experts advocate practices like inspecting web traffic, autonomously blocking malicious traffic and isolating compromised domains and endpoints. Here are more solutions for preventing botnet attacks: 2. Malware Attacks Cybercriminals use various ways to execute malware attacks on businesses. Common practices include phishing and business email compromise. However, malware attacks can also be carried out through IoT devices that hackers can hijack and turn into potent botnets ready for remote commands. Hackers can use structured query language injection to destroy company databases by injecting malicious code into the SQL statement. Since most IoT devices don’t feature security patching/updates, they can barely contend with evolving risks. IoT devices generally lack firewalls, ACLs and other filtering checkpoints. They also lack basic encryptions used to secure data in transit, meaning most IoT data traffic is unencrypted. However, retailers can take insight from the robust approaches used in the gambling industry. For instance, trustworthy new casinos online UK punters join today provide lengthy password fields featuring numbers, letters and other characters. They also run 24/7 malware sweeps and offer multi-factor authorization, access restrictions, banking limits, geo-restriction, activity reports and remote monitoring. Here are some measures retailers can adopt to prevent malware attacks on IoT devices: 3. DDoS Attacks Distributed Denial of Service attacks or DDoS attacks involve flooding company servers with multiple data requests with the aim of overwhelming the system. When so many requests are coming at the same time, the network may slow down, shut down or crash. Such scenarios may lead to rebooting and reconfigurations, presenting ideal opportunities for malicious actors to gain entry into the network. DDoS attacks can also result in costly downtimes and massive compensations if third parties rely on the servers for specific functions. Attackers use untraceable IP addresses, which are usually hard to distinguish from legitimate traffic. One way to combat DDoS attacks is through private servers and networks. A virtual private network provides access to dedicated servers with unlimited bandwidth. The servers are only used by the company as opposed to being shared with a dozen other organizations. With such a resource, it would take an unprecedented number of simultaneous requests to crash the servers. Even so, the system may still slow down when overloaded beyond its daily operation. Cybersecurity teams can implement other measures like traffic filtering to prevent the servers from getting overloaded. Another option is to divert traffic to backup servers during surges. More IoT Threat Pathways Hackers and malicious actors have many other routes to spreading malware and compromising their targets’ systems. Passive wiretapping, wardriving attacks and zero-day exploits are all common antics cybercriminals deploy. These may involve posing as an insider in a business, using sophisticated technologies to probe IoT wireless networks for vulnerabilities and exploiting undetected loopholes in software and hardware. Businesses must therefore establish comprehensive security systems and protocols following thorough risk assessment. The goal is to find a solution for each risk and configure autonomous responses to mitigate the damage caused by undetected attacks.

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