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CAD Security

How to Protect your AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor Drawings from Cyberthreats

Learn how HALOCAD provides protection to AutoCAD and Inventor CAD designs leveraging Microsoft Purview Information Protection (MPIP)

August 10, 2023
How to Protect your AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor Drawings from Cyberthreats

The manufacturing and design industry is rapidly expanding, with the introduction of new and innovative technologies designed to provide more cost-effective, robust, and efficient solutions. This has been made possible due to CAD tools such as AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor.

What is AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor?

AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor are professional–grade and powerful modeling Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software from AutoDesk Company.AutoCAD is a powerful 2D and 3D program for engineers, architects, and construction professionals. It is not only a modeling software but also helps to create 2D sketches and documentation for your project.This software program uses meshes, surfaces, and solids with an option to comment on the drawings with dimensions. It works best with iOS and Windows providing freedom and mobility in designing.Autodesk Inventor is also a CAD software that is dedicated to mechanical design, documentation, and product simulations. This CAD software allows the designing of rapid assembly reconfigurations and uses standard elements such as gears, cams, or bolted connections from Autodesk’s library.


Why should CAD security be a top priority in the manufacturing industry?

As the manufacturing industry contains sensitive and proprietary CAD drawings created by AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor that could be exposed or even destroyed, cybersecurity should be of paramount concern.Proper cybersecurity measures have to be developed and implemented to provide efficient and cost-effective additive manufacturing platforms that are digitally safe and secure from such attacks.Information and data security is characterized by three aspects – Confidentiality, Integrity, and availability.Information of a confidential nature has to be protected from parties that are unauthorized to view it. For example, a document that contains sensitive information that could cause harm to a company if leaked into the wrong hands.The Integrity of information is a very important aspect that concerns the validity of the data. If information is maliciously manipulated without any detection, it will be difficult to determine if the information is legitimate or not.When information loses its integrity, it can hide important detail that, if it is not interpreted in the way it should be, could have detrimental effects in production.Data should be available to the intended parties whenever it is needed without landing into

Lets look at a hypothetical scenario on how CAD data collaboration happens between the engineering team and the external third-party vendors

In the below scenario’s the design files move seamlessly across the supply chain with proper sensitivity labels and user privilege’s defined as mandated by the organization.Scenario – 1 (Designer)The user is the designer who owns the design files. Based on the user privilege defined, the designer can view, edit, copy, print, and export the files.Scenario- 2 (Engineer)The user is an engineer who consumes the design file shared with him by the engineering team. The engineer can view and edit the files. He can make modifications to the original file and share it. He does not have the privilege to copy, print, export, and use the snipping tool to make a copy.Scenario – 3 (Partner)In a typical manufacturing environment, the CAD drawings are shared with a lot of third-party partners, and vendors across the supply chain for day-to-day operations. In this scenario, the partner can only view the cad files as per the set privilege enforcement.Scenario – 4 (Unauthorized User)If an unauthorized user outside of the organization tries to open the CAD drawings, the files are encrypted, and he will not be able to open the file.

How HALOCAD provides protection to AutoCAD and Inventor CAD designs?

SECUDE’s HALOCAD acts as a dedicated integrator that connects the user’s CAD applications to Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) and fully supports all implementation scenarios of Azure Information Protection (AIP) and Rights Management Services (RMS). The organization can utilize its investment in MIP even for CAD applications.In SAP PLM environments, HALOCAD works as an extension to HALOCORE protection by enabling CAD applications to automatically decrypt and use MIP encrypted files that have been checked out of the SAP Content Management System (CMS).

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HALOCAD supported file types for Autodesk products

  • Autodesk AutoCAD - dwg, dxf
  • Autodesk Inventor– ipt, iam, idw, ipn
  • CAD Applications

  • Autodesk AutoCAD: 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Autodesk Mechanical/Electrical/MEP/Civil 3D/Planr 3D: 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Autodesk Inventor: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Autodesk Revit: 2020
  • PLM Applications

  • Autodesk Vault Professional Server: 2020, 2021, 2023
  • Requirements for Microsoft Purview Information Protection (MPIP)

    It is recommended to use Microsoft Purview Information Protection (MPIP ) with unified labeling to label and protect drawing files. The following prerequisites for configuring and operating HALOCAD must be met.

  • Microsoft 365 / Azure subscription
  • The Microsoft 365 bundle should be any one of the following to enable 3rd party integration into Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) using the MIP Software Development Kit
  • Office 365 E3 or E5
  • Enterprise Mobility and Security E3 or E5
  • Azure Info Protection (AIP) Premium P1 or P2
  • Microsoft 365 E3, E5, or F1
  • Available permissions & Access controls

    1. Access control (view, edit)
    2. Usage control (print, save, save as, copy/paste, screen capture with snipping tool, copy to clipboard)
    3. Dynamic watermarks

    Customer Benefits:

    HALOCAD for AutoCAD & Autodesk Inventor provides following benefits to customers:

  • Users are granted privileged rights within the application, such as the ability to only view, edit, print, copy or screen capture sensitive information.
  • Enables the data security enforcement as part of an Enterprise Digital Rights Management approach based on unified encryption strategy using Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP)
  • Enables configuring the rules for label enforcement without user intervention.
  • Leverage existing Office 365 / Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) environment in customer location.
  • Enables CIOs to have a 360° view of holistic encryption strategy using AIP and integrating into PLM & ERP environments.
  • Protect your data.
    Protect your future.