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Cyber Attacks on CAD Software: What Should a CAD Engineer Do for CAD Security?

CAD File Security / September 19, 2022

Millions of engineers and designers worldwide use CAD software to create products that improve our lives. However, with great power comes great responsibility- and with CAD software comes the need for CAD security. Let’s discuss the dangers of cyber attacks on CAD software and what lessons we should teach during orientation for new CAD engineers for maximum CAD security.

Lessons a New CAD Engineer Should Have During Orientation

Security begins with understanding the risks. During CAD software orientation, you should teach a CAD engineer about the dangers of cyber attacks. They should learn how to identify a potential attack and what steps to take to prevent an attack.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack is any offensive action that targets computer systems, networks, or personal devices. These attacks can come in many forms, but their goal is always to disrupt, disable, or gain unauthorized access to systems or data.

How Could a Cyber Attack Be Waged on CAD Software?

The most common attack on CAD software is via ransomware. Hackers who understand the product design space will attack a CAD implementation to take control of a companies intellectual property (IP) in the form of new product designs.  If they can gain access, they will lock it up and ransom access back to the manufacturer or design firm. Imagine if a hacker gained access to the latest CAD files for the new iPhone.  That would be catastrophic for Apple, but you wouldn’t hear about it in the press and it would all be handled internally without public knowledge.

What Damages Could a Manufacturer/Engineering Firm Suffer From a CAD Attack?

The damages are loss of intellectual property and ultimately the ability to profit from that intellectual property.  What if someone stole the secret formula for Coca Cola one hundred years ago?  What if someone cracked the code on the Google search algorithm?  These assets are the secret ingredients for how these companies make money and without them they lose their competitive advantage in the marketplace.  If a manufacturers intellectual property is compromised by a CAD attack, they may have to pay a hefty fee to get it back and even then it would come with the uncertainty of knowing if a copy existed and was available for purchase.

How Can Cyber Attacks on CAD Software at Manufacturers and Engineering Companies Be Prevented or Minimized?

There are a few steps that CAD engineers can take to prevent or minimize the risk of a cyber attack. The most important thing to do first is prevent an intrusion. Second, engineering and manufacturing firms must ensure they have proper data redundancy in case their files are compromised.  Third is to work with a provider that can restore data quickly to make sure the latest and greatest product launch in completed successfully.

Ideally, companies should be using AI-powered global network security like Sophos. Sophos Intercept X is the antivirus solution that runs on every endpoint inside EpiGrid’s offering. The Endpoint Security solution, which is the industry’s leading, combines anti-exploit, anti-ransomware, deep learning AI and control technology to stop attacks before they can harm your systems. It’s at the next level in PDM and CAD security.

Keep Your CAD Work Secure With CAD Security Solutions From EpiGrid

By following these simple steps, CAD engineers can help to prevent or minimize the risk of a cyber attack on CAD software. By being aware of the risks and taking steps to avoid them, you can help keep your CAD files safe from harm.

At EpiGrid, we offer CAD security solutions to help keep your CAD files safe from cyber attacks. Our CAD security solutions protect your CAD files from being stolen or accessed by unauthorized users. Contact us today to learn more about our CAD security solutions, including Sophos, and how they can help to keep your CAD work secure.