We’ve all heard the famous question, ‘What came first the chicken or the egg?’ For those of us in the BIM world, ‘What came first BIM or The Cloud?’ is equally as debated. With all of the interoperability today between the two, it can be difficult to remember. BIM, referring to a building model, was first mentioned in 1985 by Simon Ruffle whereas the cloud in its modern context was not mentioned until more than 20 years later in 2006 by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Perhaps that is why there are so many concerns of cloud security for BIM managers. 

Several myths surround the security of the cloud. It’s lack of security being most prevalent, but other major ones surround compliance requirements and management. 

The first myth we’ll debunk is that the cloud is inherently insecure. The business model of public cloud providers is dependent on security. They have invested in the most up-to-date technologies, sophisticated operations, data centers and threat intelligence. Additionally, while the 2017 Cloud Security Report reports that a web app attack towers above all other types of malware attacks, equating to 75% of the security incidents observed, there were a small percentage of incidents in the dataset. It’s not that malware isn’t a problem but that the anti-malware protections being invested in are fighting against a heavy onslaught and once you take a look at the security incident count in the report, you’ll find that those most at risk are those with a Hybrid security system.

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Figure 1: The data over the 18 months of the report indicates that hybrid networks experience, on average, over twice as many security incidents as public cloud installations.

Many  assume that the cloud makes compliance standards more difficult but in fact, the reverse is true. With cloud providers having complex tools in place, it’s actually easier to keep data in check. Another important thing to note is that business leaders who assume that their organization can’t use the cloud likely don’t realize that they are already deeply immersed in the cloud in many other aspects of their business.  For example, what platforms does your organization use for HR management? What about your Office 365 applications? The ultimate problem for many organizations is that they don’t understand the cloud’s shared-responsibility model.

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Sean Duca, Vice President & Chief Security Officer for Asia Pacific at Palo Alto Networks said in an article for SecurityRoundTable.org that, “Business and security leaders are afraid of losing control.” He continued, “They can’t see it or touch it, so they think they don’t have control. If they don’t understand the shared-responsibility model, they don’t understand what type of security is available to them.”  

Management of cloud security actually makes it easier for your team to scale your server network as needed. Just as your organization would depend on the cloud for their security protocols and responsibilities, nearly all data breaches on the cloud are a result of breaches from the end user and not an external source. In other words, password protocols and hardware security need to be addressed throughout your organization, otherwise security issues could arise whether or not you’re utilizing the cloud.  

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BIM Management comes with many hats and understanding The Cloud’s security, compliance and management protocols can be difficult to grasp for all stakeholders. With BIM becoming more complex than ever before and with it endless toolsets, a consensus on cloud collaboration is imperative to not only connect all design teams but to connect the office and the field as well. With full cloud collaboration and a connected team, higher quality projects and increased profit is at your fingertips. 

In conclusion, not only is the cloud a very secure option, there are many benefits as well covered in this post and this one pager. UNIFI Labs is proud to be a cloud based content/data management and project insight software. For a free demo, please contact us today. 

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