BIM, Data, and Cyber-Security

From BIM to BASM

BIM (Building information modeling) is gradually becoming more and more common in several of the developed construction markets around the world. For many businesses, BIM use remains quite basic, expediting the production of design deliverables that are still shared as 2D deliverables: drawings, window or door schedules, for example.

But as they begin to share and to combine or ‘federate’ data-rich 3D, 4D (time), and 5D (cost) models, project teams will need to heighten their cyber-security regimes.

What security measures will we need in the future? We can guess.

A shared 3D model may expose intellectual property to competitors. A fly-through visualization of a new building could share sensitive information about the building’s design–key structural components, locations of key building services, placement of CCTV or other security equipment, for example.

Shared 4D models might expose periods when assets could be susceptible to sabotage or sites could be vulnerable to thieves, while a 5D model could reveal commercially sensitive pricing information to competitors.

Not surprisingly, such risks are being taken very seriously, particularly for sensitive or potentially sensitive built assets. In the UK, for example, alongside the various BIM standards, guides and protocols relating to design, construction, and future asset management, a “Specification for security-minded building information modeling, digital built environment and smart asset management” (PAS1192-5), has been published by the British Standards Institute and the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure. This is intended to help teams identify and guard against risks including:

  • Hostile reconnaissance
  • Malicious acts
  • Loss or disclosure of intellectual property
  • Loss or disclosure of commercially sensitive information
  • Release of personally identifiable information

And the already abbreviation-heavy glossary of BIM terms now includes BASM–built asset security management–as an emerging discipline. A BAS manager will help project teams and asset owners develop a built asset security strategy (BASS) and management plan (BASMP).

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