March 22, 2022 By Dennis Collin
AutoCAD 2016 introduced a set of security options to protect systems from running malicious code when AutoCAD starts or is being used.
Whilst AutoCAD does benefit from accessing custom scripts and routines to automate certain tasks, it is prudent to set some limits on the system to ensure that only genuine routines are executed and run.
The following file types are executable, or can contain executable code and include ARX, CRX, CUI, CUIx, DBX, DLL, DVB, EXE, FAS, HDI, JS, LSP, MNL, PGP, RX, SCR and VLX. The default files provided on install are digitally signed, however, CUI, CUIx, DVB, JS, PGP, and SCR files that can contain executable code, cannot be digitally signed. Therefore It is recommended that these types of files be in read-only folders accessible by a system administrator.
AutoCAD’s security settings can be accessed from the System Tab on the Options dialogue.
Choose security options and set the desired level of security. These options perform in a similar way to security settings in typical web browser software’s. The default setting is medium level, which will load files from trusted locations and provide warnings if files are loaded from non-trusted locations.
Setting security options too high will only permit files to be loaded from trusted locations, executable files from non-trusted locations will be ignored. Security checking can also be turned off, but this is not recommended as it will permit executable files to be loaded from any location without displaying any notification or warning.
Trusted locations typically will be under Window’s system folders, but other additional folders can be added. The recommended setting for AutoCAD for the searching of executable files is to exclude the Start In and drawing folders. AutoCAD also has a file called Acad.lsp, this start-up routine enables many of AutoCAD’s necessary features and will load once at the start of each AutoCAD session by default. However, these settings can be changed if required, but if in doubt it is recommended to keep all the security settings at the default or recommended settings. Turning off security settings could result in a compromised system which may result in increased system crashes and reduced productivity.