The Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII) announced on March 12 that it has launched a Cyber Hub for Manufacturing. It is part of DMDII’s public-private partnership as one of the Manufacturing USA institutes which are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to advance the state-of-the-art in digital manufacturing. This new hub received $750,000 in seed funding from the DOD.
The hub will serve as a testbed for the creation and adoption of new cybersecurity technologies to secure manufacturing shop floors across the US.
The threat of cyberattacks against the manufacturing sector is growing. as manufacturers are connecting more equipment to the internet to compile and analyze data to make better business decisions. With increased connectivity comes a higher likelihood of a breach, and a cyberattack on physical equipment threatens worker safety and the integrity of the products being deployed to users (e.g., a defect in a vehicle component).
DMDII will leverage its more than 300 partners across industry, academia, and government, as well as its 24,000 square-foot manufacturing floor with wide-ranging capabilities, to test cybersecurity use cases in a real-world manufacturing environment.
“We need to think about securing our manufacturing equipment the way we secure our laptops, and the complexity of this issue means our partners will get there much faster by working together.” DMDII Executive Director Thomas McDermott said.
To address the acute challenge faced by SMMs, it will develop hands-on cybersecurity training programs and create online, on-demand learning modules to reach manufacturers outside of the region
At the same time, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are only as strong as the weakest link in their supply chains, which are often comprised of dozens of small suppliers. The United States is a prime target; in 2015, nearly half of attacked manufacturers were in the U.S., with Italy in a distant second at one quarter.
The launch of the Cyber Hub for Manufacturing was announced at a celebration of the Institute’s four-year anniversary, where stakeholders from across the country recognized the Institute’s role in catalyzing a collaboration of over 25 established manufacturing technology companies, 40 universities, and more than 150 small manufacturers and startups, and dozens of community and civic groups around the concept of making helping U.S. manufacturers make ‘every part better than the last.