Three Simple Tips to Keep Your CAD Files Safe and Secure

Securing CAD files isn’t enough through traditional IT security models. As each and every file is vital, they must be viewed through a data-specific approach.

CAD files are the lifeblood of any designing or manufacturing company

Security of intellectual property is particularly crucial for designers, heads of research and development, and others who typically use CAD, as they often deal with crucial data that must be protected—be it to prevent plagiarism or to stop the leaking of private information.

Cyber-committed CEOs understand that business continuity in digital processes requires new data-centric security strategies. Here are three important points for you to keep in mind when protecting your CAD files.


Do you use Microsoft? Then you should read our blog post ‘Why invest in a new CAD file security solution when you can leverage your investment in Microsoft AIP


Traditional security paradigms leave the exit door open

Traditional data protection, such as firewalls, antivirus and antispywares, and authentication models like OTP, passwords, etc. do not completely secure data as it leaves one critical door open – the exit door. The proof of point here are the recent data breach report at Apple and not one at Tesla in the not too distant future.

Apple had stated that factory workers had pilfered and released yet-to-market iPhone designs into the Dark Web. In light of this’ blog’s topic, what makes Apple’s response interesting is that it reduced the number of ‘security staff’ instead of focusing on addressing the leakage of CAD drawings and schematics!

Tesla too is well known in the market for having lost invaluable design IP thanks to the effort of malicious insiders. A little over a year ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed company employees that the malicious insider had created fake usernames to modify proprietary Manufacturing Operating System’s (MOS) source code. Having done this successfully, he also exported Gigabyte sized files – highly sensitive photographs and videos – and shared them with unknown third parties. Well, it seems antispyware was not enough to check this threat.


If you use Microsoft Information Protection, then why not leverage it to secure your CAD files? Watch this video to know how.


CAD files are data files

On a regular basis, designers and research & development teams export sensitive CAD files from their systems (within SAP and non-SAP landscapes) to share with vendors, component manufacturers and other external stakeholders. The files could be downloaded and stored on devices, such as USB thumb drives and local hard disks, or, increasingly, on mobile devices and in cloud storage solutions, such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Such data often end up in places beyond your control – and the vendors, such as on the file share of an untrustworthy partner or the inbox of a competitor. Even on trusted employee devices, with the increase in sophistication of malware and Trojans, the risk of IP loss has never been higher. Thus, securing them should be from a data-centric approach keeping in view insider threats – as witnessed in the case of Apple, Tesla, and indeed, others.

Thus, to secure your CAD files, keep in mind three simple tips:

  1. Know and record all activity surrounding the download of your CAD files as they are exported from the safe environs of your IT landscape.
  2. Prevent (block) IP loss from your applications by effectively blocking unauthorized downloads
  3. Control access (protect) to sensitive CAD files from your operating landscape throughout their lifecycle wherever they may go

A ready solution to protect your CAD files

SECUDE has a ready solution, HALOCAD, that will protect your CAD files beyond your IT landscape – irrespective of whether you store CAD files in SAP or a non-SAP environment. Not just within, HALOCAD ensures sensitivity level outside your landscape – in fact, wherever the CAD file goes. The solution powers classification-based automated MIP policy assignment for your CAD files throughout their lifecycle. For more information, visit our product page.

Related Reading

[1] Apple and Tesla Story Needn’t Be Yours

[2] The seven colors of the insider threat rainbow

[3] Protecting IP of a Manufacturing Company – A Case Study