How secure are my BIM project data in the cloud?

BIMCLOUDMany software vendors offer hosting of the BIM-projects in the cloud. This trend will intensify. Are the data there really safe? Can everyone access the data or only one who is allowed?

I have to say something in advance. Absolute security will never be able to give. Almost every day we receive news that another person or a company has been spied. We must free ourselves from the fact that this cannot happen. We have to live with it. To paper and pencil I do not want to go back.

Everyone must now decide for themselves whether he goes to the cloud or not. The data are in the cloud. This is me personally too anonymous. I’d feel better if I knew where exactly located are my data. The cloud is not a cloud that floats in the sky, but a giant network of interconnected servers that are spread all over the world are in large data centers. For me personally, it is in this case, when I write my blog, no matter on which server is my blog. I want precisely that my texts are read by many people.

Now, I imagine that I as an engineer working in an integrated production network with other colleagues on a new construction of a large bank building. Of course, we also need to plan the vault. In this case, it’s me and my clients already important that the data is located in a safe place. So I try with all stakeholders to find out where the data center actually is and what certifications the provider has. As I said, I have no absolute certainty. On the basis of the location and the certifications I have to assume that the project data is safe there. In addition, my client would have liked this information in writing by me.

The following questions should I ask my provider:

  • Where is the data center?
  • Which data center is used as a backup?
  • Can I set in my application the data center itself?
  • What certifications has the used software?
  • Which certifications have the data centers?
  • How often do the certifications to be retired?

To me it is not enough, then when I get a reply that the servers are located in Germany. Even if this is the case, my data must be as far stored and secured. I generally researched in the last few days a little. It was a little depressing, as little information is actually found on the net. Maybe one or the other has a tip for me.

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  1. I appreciate your concern and the concerns of your client. For me, the risk is not so much that someone will hack into my data. It has more to do with what seems to be the attitude of the courts here in the U.S., that I relinquish rights of ownership to any data that I voluntarily upload to someone else’s server; that once it is on their server, they have as much right to it as I do.
    If my impression is correct, they can pass the data on to as many other servers and entities as they like, and ownership rights go right along with the data.
    The creators of data uploaded to the Cloud then have zero inherent control or knowledge of who has the data that once was exclusively theirs. What control there is vested in the integrity of those receiving the data from it’s creator, and the agreements between the original creator and the recipient. And who is in charge on the receiving end? Do you even know? I don’t. Can you call them on the phone? Send them a letter? Are they even willing to give you an email address? Are those emails answered by a person, or by a database and an application?
    The rapid move to put everything on vast, anonymous, distributed data networks is moving just a little too fast for this cowboy.
    I have no German at all. I hope this reads coherently.

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