From accidental deletion to disaster preparedness, file security should be one of your top concerns.
In the 500th edition of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter I went over some constants — things that don’t change — in a CAD manager’s job. One of those key constants is the need to facilitate production and smooth workflow. Not surprising, right? But, what subtasks facilitate this discussion? Starting with this issue I’ll be writing about some of these CAD Management Constants, beginning with File Security.
In this edition of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter, we’ll explore the high-level file security tasks you must cover and I’ll suggest strategies for doing so. Here goes.
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File Security is Job 1
Let’s start here: All the greatest CAD, BIM, or mechanical modelling software in the world means nothing if you lose — or lose control of — your files. File security may seem boring and old fashioned, but if you preside over the loss of project files, you’ll wish you’d paid more attention to it.
The good news is that file security doesn’t have to be a big burden so long as you have a proactive plan. Then, all you must do is follow the plan and perform periodic checks to be sure everything is on track and fix any problems immediately once they are detected. Simply put, plan the work, then work the plan.
The major areas you’ll need to address are:
Stopping accidental deletion/overwrite
Addressing cloud data risks
Creating solid backups
Now let’s expand these topics into a series of action items that assure high file security. Your job now becomes attacking any areas where your current security protocols are deficient and fixing them.
Stop Accidental Deletion/Overwrite
The number one cause of file security problems I’ve experienced over the years is accidental deletion or overwriting of files. If you worry about nothing else, be sure to protect against file loss by considering the following:
Stop C drive hoarding. The surest way to lose files is to let users store large caches of data on their C drives. When users copy/move files from network/cloud drives to their own drives, the chance for many users to work on the same file and thus eventually overwrite files goes up exponentially. If someone violates the “no C drive” policy, put them on notice immediately!
Stop cloud hoarding. When users copy files to their own cloud data storage utility (think Dropbox or OneDrive) the chance of accidental deletion or overwrite is just as high as it is for the C drive case. Simply put, when users start copying files from your controlled network drives to their own personal devices, trouble will be with you soon. Consider unauthorized cloud storage violations in the same way you would a C drive storage violation.
Review network/cloud folder security. Most projects use a directory structure to manage files and some of those directory folders will contain files that are project standards (think blocks, families, standard parts, sub-models, etc.) that should never be deleted. The surest way to deal with these types of accidental deletions is to review your network/cloud security group structures to keep standards secure. As a side note: Don’t just make the standards folders delete protected but keep them non-writable if at all possible so nobody puts non-standard content into the folder in the first place.
While accidental deletion will never be 100% eliminated, it can be substantially minimized by ensuring the above procedures are in place. And, by stopping accidental deletion you’ll have fewer panic moments and won’t have to rely on your backups (which we’ll cover shortly) as much.
Address Cloud Data Risks
In most companies, network file/folder security (as reference above) is a well understood concept that IT departments can implement easily. But, in the rapidly evolving world of cloud data storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc., there is much work to be done to assure a company of proper file security. Before implementing any cloud-based file management systems, consider the following issues carefully. . . .
When dealing with cloud data, what risks should you consider? And, how should you handle backups. Continue reading! >>
Tools & Resources
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Product Announcement: Cloud Simulation Platform
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CAD Manager Chronicles Video Series
Episode 3: CAD Management Constants
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Whether your problems stem from users who ignore standards, a company culture that doesn't prioritize quality, or self-sabotaging management techniques, this guide will set you on the path to greater efficiency, fewer mistakes, and better results. (Compiled from Robert Green's CAD Manager's Column.)