Approaches to CAD Drawings Protection: Blockchain, Smart Contracts, and BORIS

In today's world, it's virtually impossible to have the whole cycle of production under one roof. A firm needs one or several manufacturers depending on the complexity of a project. This means that designers have to share their most valuable asset — CAD files

Even if you follow strict security protocols to ensure that your files are safe from malicious actions, there is no guarantee that other parties do the same.

Sometimes, designers share the precious CAD models with the wrong people, leading to unforeseen and usually dire consequences. It's even worse when you share data that wasn't meant to be shared at all. It leads to losing your intellectual property (IP) and flooding the market with counterfeit products.

Why should CAD files security be your number one priority?

Any company's IP is confidential and has to be protected from unauthorized access. This is a fundamental matter for any business, as manipulating a piece of an unprotected CAD file can legally turn it into a new design. By doing so, malicious actors deprive you of all legal rights on this design, rendering you powerless to stop counterfeiting.

Even though a company's cybersecurity measures may indeed be compromised, usually, there is no need to do so. Most people use e-mails to exchange CAD files, which is not always the most secure way to share information. 

According to the study by IMB, human error is the main cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. It usually means unintentional actions by employees that, in terms of CAD files, result in them being sent to the wrong address.

Employees may take a few more actions to trigger data loss, such as downloading a malware program or composing a too weak password. But since it is impossible to stop people from choosing 12345 as the most secure password, there are other actions a business can take to protect its property.

Blockchain and smart contracts in IP protection

Blockchain technology opens new opportunities when it comes to data protection. They are tamper-resistant digital ledgers implemented in a distributed fashion that don't have a central node or an authority controlling them. At their basic level, they enable a community of users to record information in a shared ledger so that no operations within a blockchain can be changed once published. 

Our software as a service (SaaS) solution called BORIS is a plugin for Autodesk Inventor. It allows you to protect CAD files while staying within the comfort of your working environment. 

The solution is added on top of Autodesk Inventor and digitally signs your files, proving that you are the original creator and owner of the files. And this goes on even before blockchain technology kicks in.

Smart legal contracts fortify the security of your files. A smart contract is a computer program designed to run a distributed ledger or blockchain only after some event triggers it. It helps to legally protect your designs while avoiding extraordinarily long and sometimes unreliable (not to mention expensive) official contracting procedures.

Once the smart contract code is uploaded into the blockchain, the only actions possible with it are those dictated by the logic inserted in the code. This and the nature of blockchain make CAD files protected by our solution immutable. 

Blockchain technology makes the business's legal side more efficient in terms of time consumption and economy. 

Smart contracts control the execution of certain conditions predetermined by human lawyers, which significantly reduces the chance of an error. But to make a smart contract you need the said lawyers working together with a team of IT specialists.

This may seem not very easy, but BORIS has it covered too. Our solution uses Ricardian smart contracts that are both man and machine-readable. This approach not only saves time and money but makes protecting every piece of a CAD file way easier. By forming such a contract, you legally prevent any copyright infringement of your IP.  Try our product Solid Boris for SolidWorks to protect CAD data.

Many courts and governments worldwide have started seeing blockchain technology as a step into a new era of data security. Stay on the edge of progress with CADChain.