• Amber Thomas

New Cybersecurity Innovation Institute Announced

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced its selection of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to lead the new Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII). CyManII is the sixth institute funded by the DOE, and the 15th to join the national network of manufacturing institutes that make up Manufacturing USA.

Three national labs and industry stakeholders will join UTSA to gain a better understanding of evolving cyber threats and develop new tools to combat them. CyManII will focus primarily on research and development to secure automation and supply chain networks. The institute will also address educating and training a skilled cybersecurity workforce.

Smart manufacturing systems and cloud-based software are improving efficiency, safety, products, and customer service in companies around the world. Most U.S. companies are aware that they must be vigilant in protecting their information and operations from cyberattacks. But how? Cyberspace is increasingly vulnerable to more sophisticated threats that require new tools of protection.

Cybersecurity is a top priority for the Trump administration. In September 2018, the administration released the National Cyber Strategy which outlines how it will accomplish four goals:  

  1. Defend the homeland security by protecting networks, systems, functions, and data.

  2. Promote prosperity with a secure digital economy that fosters innovation.

  3. Preserve peace and security by strengthening our ability to deter cyber criminals.

  4. Expand U.S. influence abroad on the fundamental tenets of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet.

A month later, the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing was released. The comprehensive report emphasizes the importance of advanced technologies to U.S. dominance in manufacturing. On the topic of cybersecurity, it calls for more research to develop and update standards and guidelines for implementing emerging technologies for cybersecurity in manufacturing systems. CyManII is an outgrowth of these reports. 

America’s prosperity and security depend on how we respond to the opportunities and challenges present in cyberspace and other areas of advanced manufacturing. The Manufacturing USA network endeavors to accelerate solutions to the problems and improve access to the opportunities through strong public-private partnerships. CyManII will join the ranks of the 14 institutes below. If you have questions or comments, please email me at athomas@amtonline.org.

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