UI Labs gets Defense Department grant to start cybersecurity program – Technology News

on Mar12

12 March 2018 | 1:30 pm

A branch of UI Labs has received $750,000 in seed funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to launch a cybersecurity initiative.

The Digital Manufacturing Design & Innovation Institute plans to spend some of the money to hire a director for the new program. Some will go toward developing cybersecurity workshops and online lessons for manufacturers, and some will build out the cybersecurity infrastructure for the in-house assembly line the institute uses to test manufacturing processes. By adding software and hardware to its own line, the institute can teach manufacturers what they need in their own plants to counter the risk of cyberattack.

“We’re creating an unclassified test bed so you can use it to be very open about learning,” said UI Labs CEO Caralynn Nowinski Collens.

The money is for one year, but Collens said the institute is hoping for more.

Manufacturing is less at risk for hacking than the financial services, public administration and utility industries, but it remains a target. Moreover, exposure increases along with the growth of the network of digitally connected physical assets—the so-called industrial Internet of Things.

The seed funding is an outgrowth of work the institute already was doing. Collens said DMDII has completed two cybersecurity projects already, including an online dashboard released in February that helps manufacturers gauge if they are complying with U.S. cybersecurity standards.

Still, awareness of the problem lags, particularly among small companies.

“You’ve got these examples that people think about, but they say, ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen to me,’” Collens said. “There’s going to be a wakeup call pretty soon, and we need to protect against that.”

More:
Why halt your assembly line when you can borrow this one

Bigly isn’t enough; infrastructure must be built smartly, too



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