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Data security in 3D modeling software: risks and recommendations

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Data security in 3D modeling software: risks and recommendations

3D modeling tools offer infinite possibilities for creating projects alone or as part of a team, efficiently and seamlessly. Every modeling project involves the use and exchange of numerous files, whether for collaboration or simple storage. So there's always the risk of data being compromised, lost or stolen. This can lead to serious financial losses for designers and 3D design companies. Find out how to secure data in your 3D modeling software in this article.

What are the risks for your files in 3D tools?

Due to possible errors or malicious acts on the part of certain entities, the use of any software always presents a risk to data.

When it comes to 3D modeling software, there are several risks:

  • Risk of data loss: this refers to the deletion, corruption or damage of data. This loss slows down the project and can result in the loss of days or even months of work.
  • Theft of intellectual property: the practice of stealing data and original ideas is still rife in all business sectors. Cyber-attacks and malicious software are generally at the root of such theft. This can result in substantial losses for the company or designer concerned.
  • Data leakage: stored data can be leaked or stolen through mishandling or malicious actions.
  • Industrial espionage: the practice of spying on projects in progress is particularly strong in the world of technology. Stolen 3D models can be used to copy or replicate an original design.
  • Ransomware attacks: many malicious individuals target companies or freelance 3D graphic designers, blocking access to their files. They demand a ransom in exchange for the documents, causing financial losses and slowing down projects for the victims.
  • You can reduce such risks by following a number of recommendations, including data back-up and enhanced security.

    How to avoid data loss in 3D design software?

    Data loss slows down projects and causes real difficulties for graphic designers working with 3D software. There are several ways to protect your data:

  • Regular backup: this simple habit will ensure that you never lose your work progress. Some programs, such as ArchiCAD, offer an automatic backup in case you forget.
  • External file storage: non-sensitive data can be stored on a USB stick or hard disk.
  • Online storage: you can store your files manually on DropBox or Google Drive, or automatically on Windows BackUp. You can then access them anywhere, anytime.
  • 3D modeling software such as Revit offers its own "Autodesk Drive" cloud system to protect your data. For added security, opt for more secure online storage systems, including data encryption during transfer.

    How do you secure your 3D models on modeling tools?

    Securing your data on 3D modeling software involves applying a few basic guidelines.

    Set password

    You can set a password to authorize access to your files. Entering a password or code strengthens the security of your data. On 3Ds Max software, you can even activate a double authentication system for even greater protection. For a higher level of security of your 3D modeling software content, set strong passwords and try to change them regularly.

    Installing an antivirus

    Installing an antivirus is essential if you want to protect your 3D projects from malware and spyware... Update your antivirus regularly to benefit from the latest security patches.

    Use a firewall

    If you install a firewall on your work computer, you prevent potential attacks such as hacking.

    Update software

    Regularly updating your software not only fixes bugs and adds new features, but also reduces potential threats. Update your computer too, to reduce the risk of piracy on your operating system.

    Encrypt your data

    To protect your data more effectively, use encryption software.

    Using digital signatures and watermarks

    To protect your 3D design project, consider watermarking your images. Not only does this make it easier to identify the owner, it also reduces the risk of copying and fraud. That's why many 3D software packages offer the option of adding watermarks and digital signatures directly when designing 3D models.

    What role do 3D software manufacturers play?

    3D software manufacturers are committed to offering a secure service, and are obliged to implement an effective protection system against potential threats.

    To secure your data in 3D modeling tools, they are responsible for :

  • Develop more secure software through coding, frameworks and even encryption of sensitive data stored in 3D software (customer information, login). For example, Autodesk uses symmetrical AES 256-bit encryption on its software to protect project files and user login information.
  • Use firewalls to verify the authenticity of users.
  • Integrate secure encryption protocols for data transfers. Trimble creates HTTPS connections to secure data exchanged on SketchUp software.
  • Maintain a software security watch. This means that the developer must keep an eye on any vulnerabilities in the software. He must then create updates to correct these security flaws.
  • Moreover, these manufacturers must comply with data security regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. What's more, they must have security audits of their software carried out on a regular basis by IT security experts.

    How can you improve IT security for all your 3D projects?

    To secure your data in 3D modeling tools, ensure better IT security within your company. Indeed, several members of your team may have access to a 3D modeling project, increasing the risk of data leakage.

    To avoid this, set up a system of authorizations for all your 3D projects. Each member will have access to only those elements of the project essential to his or her work. You can even revoke authorizations when access is no longer required.

    Software such as Revit offers this option when several people are collaborating on the same project.

    You can also define the actions authorized for each person. For example, for your customers, you can enable viewing only, with no authorization to delete or modify.

    You also need to set up a control system for each user. You can view the behavior and activities of each user via an activity log. This allows you to check for any user errors or suspicious activity on the 3D software.

    To ensure ongoing security and confidentiality in your IT system, offer data security training sessions to your team members.

    So, to secure your data in your 3D modeling software, apply these recommendations to the maximum: save on a secure cloud, update, encrypt and control via passwords.

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