Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hacking BIM

No, I’m not talking about the good kind of hacking, like the AEC Hackathon. I’m talking about the kind of hacking that steals your identity and buys a diamond necklace for some anonymous Russian mistress! The kind of hacking that sneaked into Target retailers and grabbed millions of PIN’s from register transactions. How did they get access? Through an HVAC contractor. The Target corporation felt there was a significant benefit from facility energy savings in allowing broader access and connections to heating and cooling systems. Does this benefit outweigh the potential security risk?


A recent article in the New York Times by Nicole Perlroth (“Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines”) highlights a growing danger of hackers gaining access to corporate networks in some uncommon ways.

“They came in through the Chinese takeout menu.”

This got me thinking about the all-too-cool initiatives we are pushing in the AEC industry. Why not connect BIM to facility management (FM)? One of the most recent marketing emails I received is for YouBIM – a cloud-based BIM solution for facility management. Check out their introductory video. What happens when we start connecting all the players in the design and construction work flow with cloud-based BIM data? What happens to the benefit of ‘big data’ when it starts to communicate and co-mingle with consumer profiles? Food for thought…

1 comment:

  1. Great post, the issue of data security and how it impacts the varying professions/licensure of different parties within the building design team is becoming more and more important. We're being asked by some clients to commingle the "as designed" models with the "as-built" models that will be maintained by the GC during construction. Sure, technology is probably not a barrier, but contracts are, and I dare say rightly so. The current technology solutions are not robust enough yet to give each party exclusive control (authorship) of specific model elements. Collaboration is the way of the future, but I think we are justified in being guarded until we can drill through various scenarios and ensure bad things won't happen (like, ending in a court battle). Good times!