Prostep | Newsletter

Security is the Name of the Game

by Peter Pfalzgraf

Florian Grunow from ERNW GmbH, which also performs the penetration tests for our products, used the medical engineering field as an example to illustrate how easy it is to hack and manipulate networked high-tech devices via the Internet – sometimes even using a hospital's guest Wi-Fi network. Many manufacturers neglect the issue of security and thus compromise the safety of devices and patients when developing their networked products.

Those attending PROSTEP TECHDAY took home with them the realization that we all need to do more to ensure security. This starts with an awareness of the danger, as Dr. Rainer Bugow, our head of technology pointed out. And PROSTEP is setting a good example: We recently joined the German non-profit IT Security Association (TeleTrusT) in order to bring our interests to bear and contribute our experience developing security-related software applications to the competence network.

Security is also a prime concern when developing our software products. Penetration tests are, for example, performed on every major release of our data exchange solution OpenDXM GlobalX to ensure that we can guarantee "Security Made in Germany". Security-related enhancements in the new releases include replacing the Java applets, which have become problematic, with other technologies so that we can in the future continue to make familiar functionality available to users in their web browsers.

However even the most secure software is of little use if users do not comply with security regulations; they are often the weakest link in the chain. Complying with regulations must therefore be made as easy as possible. The talk given by Rolf-Günter Arnz on the use of OpenDXM GlobalX at Edscha Holding was highly informative in this regard. The automotive supplier has stemmed the uncontrolled exchange of data via e-mail by dint of the fact that, thanks to OpenDXM GlobalX's Outlook integration, users are able to make their data available ad hoc – but nevertheless securely – without first having to set up a partner connection. 

André Lietz's talk about Benteler Automobiltechnik's planned migration to ENOVIA V6 – a migration that other automotive suppliers will be facing sooner or later and for which PROSTEP's OpenPDM integration platform provides excellent support – generated a great deal of interest among those attending the event. The integration of our OpenDXM product family in different PLM environments is, and will continue to be, a key focal point of development activities at PROSTEP, as product manager Daniel Wiegand explained in his subsequent presentation. Dr. Mirko Theiß presented participants with details about OpenPDM's various solution components.

Constantin von Bernuth reported on how Continental Automotive will be using PROSTEP's 3D PDF technology to do away with 2D drawings completely when collaborating with suppliers in the future. A major advantage of the 3D PDF-based solution is that 3D models and PMI information can be viewed using the normal Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Timo Trautmann, a product manager at PROSTEP, provided participants with information about the latest enhancements to the 3D PDF solution, which include for example the option of rendering models on the server and transferring only the views, thus allowing models to be displayed on mobile end devices.

Customer requirements are a key driver for the ongoing development of PROSTEP's products. At the start of the event, Udo Hering, our head of product management, looked back over the many customer requirements and ideas that have been incorporated in the software in the two years since the last TECHDAY was held. At the end of the event, a number of new suggestions, collected and discussed within the relaxed framework of the creative workshop PROSTEP interAKTIV, were added to our to-do list.

I look forward to continuing these discussions with you at the next TECHDAY and, of course, also hope to be able to welcome new participants to this event.

Peter Pfalzgraf