Tekla Security Center

Last update: 4.4.2019


1. Introduction

Traditionally, Building Information Modelling field has been driven by tools which were mainly used locally on single PCs. As the world has moved towards world-wide collaboration and cloud services, the value added by embracing these ideas and technologies has not gone unnoticed by any areas of technology.

We at Trimble have always embraced the opportunities new technologies provide. Tekla Online Services team focuses on creating and maintaining online services that support and create additional value to the users of Tekla Software. Some examples include Tekla Model Sharing service for collaboration, and Tekla User Assistance, which helps users utilize Tekla products efficiently.

This paper discusses some of the security and privacy topics that we value as important to us as well as to our customers. Tekla Software products included here are Tekla Structures, Tekla Structural Designer, Tekla Tedds and Tekla EPM (formerly known as FabSuite). The online services we focus on are Tekla Account and Tekla Online Admin Tool, Tekla Model Sharing, Tekla User Assistance, Tekla Warehouse, Tekla Forum, Tekla Downloads, Tekla Campus, Tekla eLearning, and Tekla Developer Center.

Processes and the related organizations on security and privacy protection follow the best practices of ISO 27001 standard. In addition, many of the security requirements are aligned with industry standards such as BSIMM and OWASP ASVS. We are also committed to fulfilling GDPR legislation.


2. Tekla Online Services

2.1 Information

By design, most Tekla Online Services do not share data between them. Data, such as models stored in one service, is not available to other services. The only exception to this rule is Tekla Account that is used for authentication into all services: it provides necessary identity information for the services.

Information that our customers store within Tekla Online Services can be divided into three main categories:

Information Rationale for categorization
Models created by customers using Tekla Structures (Models) Models are the most valuable commercial assets that our customers store within the online services.
Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any data that can potentially identify a specific individual.
Other content created by customers within the services (Other Content) In addition to models, other content such as support discussions or files must be protected within the services.


2.2 Services and Classification

When designing the Tekla Online Services portfolio, one design principle is to store the minimum amount of information needed for each service to function. Trimble recognizes the value of customer data and wants to minimize the risk related to security incidents, and any potential misuse of data.

Tekla Online Services can be classified based on the types of data they process.

Classification Service Services Rationale
Critical Tekla Model Sharing Contains all Tekla Structures Models shared using Tekla Model Sharing.
Critical Tekla Account Contains PII about users and the user roles that are used for authentication.
High Tekla Warehouse Contains applications and plugins that can be directly inserted to models.
Normal All others Stores only limited PII from Tekla Account or Other Content created within the system. Does not store or have any access to Models.


Classification Explanation
Critical Services which by design store and process users’ critical business data (for example, models), or would trivially enable access to it if compromised.
High Services which are not mainly designed to store or process users’ critical business data, but may do so occasionally in limited quantities, for example, for technical support purposes
Normal Systems which do not store or process users’ critical business data under any circumstances, or enable access to such data even if compromised.


2.3 Information Storage

Specific information about customer information stored within Tekla Online Services, and where the information is located geographically, is available on request.


3. Security in Tekla Online Services

3.1 Security Audits

Even after applications have been designed and developed according to all industry best practices and by highly skilled professionals, there is still a possibility that something was missed. With Tekla Online Services, we ensure that all our services go through thorough security audits by third party security testers. The services are audited regularly to ensure that the level of security remains high.

If security issues or improvement areas are identified in security audits, Tekla team will evaluate these items and design effective mitigations. All important security findings are fixed before the product is deployed into production, and verified by the security testers before being approved.

All audits are done against industry standard security auditing frameworks and standards such as the OWASP Foundation ASVS 3.0 standard and the OWASP Top 10 or OWASP Mobile Top 10 security issue lists as relevant. All security issues are ranked according to the CVSS scoring method which is widely recognized as industry standard.

3.2 Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management is the process of ensuring that software is kept up-to-date as new security issues are found by the security community. With new issues being found at an ever increasing pace, it is vital for ensuring that internet services remain secure.

Many Tekla Online Services use both proprietary and open source components and systems. Occasionally, new security vulnerabilities are found in these systems by security researchers. Identified vulnerabilities are reviewed and fixes deployed to the services depending on their severity. Processes exist for fast-tracking critical security fixes into production, based on risk analysis done by Tekla team to ensure that services remain secure.

Each team at Tekla Online Services is responsible for maintaining an inventory of software components used by their product or service. The teams actively follow security feeds coming from vendors or central authorities like Cert.

Some of Tekla Online Services are hosted or managed by partners. In these cases, Tekla team works in close co-operation with the partner to ensure that vulnerability management is effective and that the services are patched regularly. Contracts are in place to ensure that our partners follow similar standards as Trimble.

3.3 Incident Management

While we do our best to ensure that all Tekla Online Services are secure, there is always a risk of a system being compromised. Trimble has set up practices for incident management to ensure that all incidents are handled efficiently.

Each team at Tekla Online Services maintains an incident response plan that includes instructions on handling security incidents. The plans include responsibilities, technical steps to take, and the location of all relevant materials needed in mitigating and investigating issues.

3.4 Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Each Tekla Online Services has a disaster recovery plan that details how the service can be brought up again in the event of partial or total loss. The plans ensure that acceptable service levels can be maintained even if something unexpected happens.


4. Requirements and Design

4.1 Architecture Principles

Tekla Software Solutions and Tekla Online Services use varying types of architecture and technical solutions depending on the specific feature or system and its requirements. However, the basic architectural principles are shared and applied to all systems to ensure that the software and services meet Trimble security and quality requirements.

All architectural designs are created and validated by a separate architecture team within Trimble to ensure that the basic structure is sound and secure. This ensures that the development teams can focus on the application logic. If there are any changes that could affect the security landscape, the architecture team is involved again.

Standard cloud architecture template is used by Tekla Online Services that do not have unique requirements that would prevent its usage. It is also used to benchmark custom architecture solutions to ensure that they fulfill the same basic requirements.

All Tekla Online Services use HTTPS / TLS for securing customer data when in transit over the internet. This is especially critical in services that handle models or other data created by our customers.

4.2 Service Availability

Many of the Online Services are critical for our customers and their business. To ensure that the services are available when needed, we have designed them to achieve high availability and scalability.

Critical services are hosted in established, world-class data centers with history of providing good service. We have implemented geographically distributed hosting to ensure that even in the event of total loss, the content is still available and can be distributed from the location closest to the customer. Detailed information on individual services is available on request.

4.3 Threat Modeling

Designing secure solutions begins from understanding the threats that the solution needs to be protected from. Without adequate understanding of the threats, security controls may be ineffective or even make the situation worse. Understanding the threats is one of the core guiding principles for designing and developing Tekla Online Services.

Threat modeling is an activity where the threat landscape is studied before the architectural design is finalized. All Tekla Online Services go through threat modeling. The threats form the basis for the design of security controls and system features.

Threat models are kept up to date as the services evolve. Threat modeling is a mandatory part of the change management process. It ensures that the impact of new features is properly understood.

Input from threat modeling is used as basis for defining security audits and testing.

4.4 Service Administration

Tekla Online Services are designed to be administered and provisioned by our customers. Tekla Account Admin tool allows customer organizations to configure the roles and access rights within different services. Our customers retain control over their data and can decide what kind of access rights are given within their own organizations.

Only authorized Trimble personnel have administrative access to the services, and the number of people who can access the customer data is limited.

The reasons for administrative access to each service are explained in service-specific documentation. General information about this is available in Trimble Terms of Service and Trimble Privacy policy.

4.5 Third-party Suppliers

Tekla Software Solutions and Tekla Online Services use trusted partners to host, develop, maintain, and test the software and services. These partner relationships have lasted for many years and partners’ expertise is a key aspect in building and maintaining our services.

All contracts with Trimble suppliers who handle personal data outside the European Union (EU) include Data Processing Annexes and EU Commission Standard Contractual Clauses that define requirements regarding security, privacy, confidentiality, and use of any materials that the supplier may have access to. All suppliers are held to the same standards as Trimble’s own employees. In addition, only named persons from the vendors are allowed to work on Trimble projects.

4.6 Authentication and Access Management

Tekla Online Services that require authentication operate using Tekla Account. Access rights can always be managed centrally through Tekla Account Admin Tool. This makes it easy for our customers to manage their accesses within Tekla Online Services.

Tekla Account service is built on industry standard authentication technology. All integrations to other Tekla Online Services are implemented using standard technologies, such as SAML, to keep the separation clear. The service is only used by other Tekla Online Services, which need to be authorized, and tested before being deployed into production.


5. Privacy and Regulations

Trimble Solutions is dedicated to following and ensuring that Tekla Software Solutions and Tekla Online Services comply with all EU legislation, including General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR. Specific compliance requirements that affect Tekla Software Solutions or Tekla Online Services are identified by each Tekla team and considered during both design and development phases of the software and services. In general, Tekla Software Solutions and Online Services aim to minimize the personal data collected about the user. Specific information related to collecting and using personal data is described in Privacy Notice.

In general, data created by the users is owned by the users even when stored in Tekla Software Solutions and Online Services. Any exceptions to this rule are described in service specific terms.

Trimble Solutions does not share the personal information we collect about you to other parties unless necessary to provide you services or to improve them. If we need to transfer data outside EU, we follow appropriate data transfer mechanisms. We require from our partners the same strict privacy and security standards to which we hold ourselves.


6. Software Development

6.1 Source Code Protection

Ensuring that source code cannot be altered from outside Trimble is critical for the security of Tekla software. To guarantee this, various measures are in place. All code is stored using version control systems, either deployed within Trimble’s own network in the centralized repository, or in our partners’ own version control system. Access is strictly limited to development teams and named stakeholders.

6.2 Secure Development Environment

Code for Tekla Online Services is developed either locally at Trimble premises, or at the premises of our partners. Trimble’s own premises are secure and require access permissions from all staff members and visitors. Similar requirements are in place for partners to ensure that they follow equally strict guidelines.

Development and testing is performed either locally on workstations, or within specially set up development environments. Remote development and testing environments are designed to protect the software and other data in a similar manner as in production.

6.3 Code Review

Even the best software development professionals can make mistakes. One effective way and industry standard practice to catch such mistakes and learn from them is code review done within the development teams. Tekla teams perform code review in the form of both peer review and formal code review. This allows us to ensure that the code is of high quality, and to spread the best practices within the teams.

Tekla Software is based on a wide range of technologies. Different teams use and follow industry guidelines and best practices when developing. Code review processes aim to identify deviations from guidelines or best practices. The deviations can then be addressed before deploying the code in production.

Various other static code quality assurance methods are also in place.

6.4 Testing and quality

At Trimble, we want to ensure that our software and services are of the highest quality. To achieve this goal, all systems go through rigorous testing before deployed into production.

All new Tekla Software Solution versions and Online Service updates are tested and validated according to Trimble quality assurance processes. The processes consist of various test levels and test types in accordance with the ISO testing standard (for example unit, functional, system, acceptance, performance, and load testing). Updates or changes are usually tested using both automated and manual test methods. Any regressions in the testing are addressed before the changes are deployed or released.

Test cases and other test assets are continuously improved to cover new development. Testing processes and tools are continuously developed by testing professionals following the industry best practices. Various types of metrics, monitoring, and checkpoints are in place to know the testing coverage and to ensure high quality level.

Various quality assurance activities are in place during development as well as after releasing. Continuous issue and defect management is in place and when needed, new Service Packs to Tekla Software Solutions or production updates to Online Services are made to ensure our customers and end users can work efficiently without interruptions.


7. Conclusion

Trimble recognizes the value of our customers. With Tekla Software Solutions and Tekla Online Services, we have taken the steps necessary to protect both your privacy and the designs that are at the core of your business. While using the software and services, you can be assured that your data is protected.

We will continue to work on maintaining and improving the security of our software and services by taking advantage of new development in industry best practices. Our efforts allow you to focus on your core business without letting security concerns stop you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Tekla Software Solutions or Tekla Online Services security, privacy, or quality, do not hesitate to contact your local Trimble Solutions office or dpo.tekla@trimble.com.