Manufacturing Groups Collaborate on Cybersecurity

Cyber-attacks against the manufacturing industry have increased. In response, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have begun to educate manufacturers on how to defend themselves. 

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With the manufacturing industry now a target for cyberattacks, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has tapped the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to lead a national effort preparing participants in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program to roll out cybersecurity services to small and medium-size manufacturers across the United States.

The MEP National Network, a public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive solutions to U.S. manufacturers, has a center in every state as well as Puerto Rico, connecting more than 1,300 manufacturing experts in 425 service locations.

Five MEP centers support the Center in this initiative: CMTC (California), Manufacturer’s Edge (Colorado), Wisconsin MEP, Pennsylvania MEP and TMAC (Texas). These centers intend to raise awareness about cybersecurity issues and to provide resources to other MEP centers looking to join in the effort. The group has based its endeavors on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which consists of standards, guidelines and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk.

Currently, 38 centers currently have or are developing cybersecurity programs to assist manufacturers in their states. Additionally, the centers have conducted 125 awareness events nationwide in the past six months, with more than 1,700 companies participating.

“As our industry becomes increasingly connected and more reliant on technology, the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures will continue to grow,” says Elliot Forsyth, vice president of business operations at the Center. “Manufacturing is a significant component of our economy, and we need to educate, train and support our nation’s manufacturers to guard against the growing threat of cyber attacks.”

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