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Cybersecurity in Manufacturing

Posted 9:14 PM by

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As technology continues to loom large over the manufacturing landscape, industry leaders must be cognizant of the risks associated with cyber threats that might encumber global manufacturing operations.

In a testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the Cybersecurity Act of 2013, Dorothy Coleman, Vice President of Tax, Technology and Domestic Economic Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), noted that as manufacturers are holders of confidential customer information, owners, operators and builders of the country’s infrastructure, and technological innovators responsible for the development sought after intellectual property, cybersecurity surrounding industrial operations is paramount in not just protecting corporate operations but also ensuring national and global security.

With the Cybersecurity Act of 2013 (the Act) being passed by the House and awaiting passage in the Senate, NAM and Ms. Coleman hope that the Act can increase dialogue between the public and private sectors regarding potential cyber threats so that both sides can identify key steps to take in averting any attacks while balancing privacy and civil liberties of the public. Ms. Coleman commented that NAM does not support the creation of a “one-size-fits-all” cybersecurity standards framework as a potential solution as manufacturers vary too much in size and operations for such an approach to be effective.

Instead, Ms. Coleman and NAM support having cybersecurity legislation that encompasses the following:

  • National cybersecurity research and development initiatives
  • Cybersecurity modeling and testing scenarios to identify areas for improvement
  • Development of high-skilled cybersecurity workforce
  • Collaboration between industry leaders and the federal government to identify threats and solutions to averting cyber attacks

Through taking these steps, Ms. Coleman and NAM hope to create a collaborative environment that fosters forward-thinking and innovation in detecting and dealing with cyber threats rather than a regulatory framework that becomes costly and burdensome for manufacturers to implement.

About the Author
Brent Lee is a member of Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Department. Brent audits and reviews financial statements, and he advises clients in accounting, reporting, compliance and internal control matters. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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