File Encryption Service

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Navigation: User Guide ➔ File Encryption Service

Related Links: PGMs, Reaction Block (RB)


Introduction

As a service to users with a current SysCAD maintenance agreement, Kenwalt provide a web-based file encryption service which encrypts portions of a SysCAD project. An encrypted project is the ideal way to share a SysCAD project with a third party while limiting some functionality for the third party.

The file encryption service can be used to encrypt General Controller(PGM), Model Procedures(MP), Reaction(RCT) AND Graphics Page(DXF) files, which are used with SysCAD projects. When a file is encrypted, it will be

  1. Illegible outside of SysCAD, this is especially useful to keep intellectual property implemented in one or more PGM files protected and hidden from third parties.
  2. Read only within SysCAD. This will help prevent any unwanted changes to the project.
    • A General controller with an encrypted PGM file will have the Edit_PGM function disabled. User will be able to view and edit the PGM data field values from the Access window, but they will not be allowed to view or make any changes to the file on a code level.
    • A model with Model Procedures with an encrypted MP file will have the Edit_MP function disabled. User will be able to view and edit the MP data field values from the Access window, but they will not be allowed to view or make any changes to the file on a code level.
    • A Reaction Block with an encrypted Reaction file will have the Edit_RCT function disabled. User will be able to view all the reactions on the access window and adjust any adjustable values as normal, but they won't be able to add or remove reactions. An encrypted reaction file will not be shown on the Reaction Editor.
    • A graphics window with an encrypted DXF file will have all the Graphics Editing commands disabled. User will be able to see the drawing, navigate around the window (eg zoom) and gain access to the model data, but they will not be allowed to make any changes to the drawing. The user will not be able to delete or add models, nor will they be able to manipulate the graphics in any way.
  3. The encrypted files will stay encrypted as projects are saved (or save as).

The concept of the web based encryption service is simple. User will submit the file(s) for encryption, when the file is encrypted, it can be downloaded for use. As a precaution, since the encryption file can not be edited, the user is responsible for keeping copies of the original files. If the user needs to make any changes, they need to change the original files and re-submit them for encryption.

All encrypted files in a project can be identified by an extra .x file extension.

A project is allowed to have a mixture of encrypted and unencrypted files. The reduced functionality only applies to the encrypted files.

Kenwalt provides no guarantee on the security of the encrypted files. Kenwalt do not retain a copy of any file submitted or encrypted.

In the future, Kenwalt plan to allow encryption of other file types as well as use this mechanism to disable selected functionality in a project.

Note: Files must be at least 100 bytes in size before they can be encrypted.

Examples of Reasons to Encrypt

Some examples of situations where it might be useful to encrypt files:

  1. If you wish to keep the contents of the PGM and RCT files secret from a party who does not have a SysCAD license.
  2. If you wish to provide a copy of the project to a third party (perhaps an internal client) who has a SysCAD license, but you do not wish them to be able to edit the PGM or RCT files. This prevents accidental or deliberate changes being made to the some parts of the project.
  3. If you wish to provide a copy of the project to a third party (perhaps an external consultant) who has a SysCAD license, but you do not wish them to be able to edit or copy the PGM, RCT or DXF files for use on a similar project.
  4. If you wish to provide a copy of the project to a third party (perhaps an external consultant) who has a SysCAD license, but you do not wish them to see the equations/logic used in your PGM files as the equations may be confidential.

How to Encrypt Files

Please contact SysCAD Team if you wish to use the encryption service.


File Management

A project may have a mixture of encrypted and non-encrypted PGM files.

Encrypted PGM/RCT files are only recognised by SysCAD if they have a ".x" on the end of the file name. If both the original file and an encrypted version of the file are in the same folder, SysCAD will load the encrypted file. Hence if you change the original file, SysCAD will not see this change. You must re-encrypt the file and replace the encrypted version.

If both the original file and an encrypted version of the file are present in a project, then if a save as/save version is performed only the encrypted version is copied to the new version.

Encrypted PGM Files

To make use of the file encryption, a PGM file must located in the Controls subfolder of the SysCAD project folder (ie. it can not be saved in a location external to the project).

A single general controller may use a mixture of encrypted and non-encrypted PGM files.

Some of the advantages of using an encrypted PGM file include:

  1. A third party will have no access to the contents of the file without a SysCAD license.
  2. Third parties with a SysCAD license will not be able to edit or copy the PGM file.
  3. Even third parties with a SysCAD license will not be able to see the equations/logic used in the PGM, they will only be able to observe the results of the logic while running the SysCAD project.

Encrypted RCT Files

Some of the advantages of using an encrypted RCT file include:

  1. A third party will have no access to the contents of the file without a SysCAD license.
  2. Third parties with a SysCAD license will not be able to edit or copy the RCT file. To replicate it, they will have to create it from scratch.

Encrypted DXF Files

Some of the advantages of using an encrypted DXF file include:

  1. A third party will have no access to the contents of the file without a SysCAD license.
  2. Third parties with a SysCAD license will not be able to edit or copy the DXF file. To replicate it, they will have to create it from scratch.