Cybersecurity—Manufacturers Are More Than Aware

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October is recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security describes it as “an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity.” The National Association of Manufacturers and manufacturers across the country are pleased to participate in this campaign.

The manufacturing sector is extremely diverse in its size, scope and outputs. The one common thread is that all traditional manufacturing companies are pushing the limits of innovation. Technology is infused throughout everything our industry does, therefore making all manufacturers high-tech enterprises.

One of the biggest trends happening in our sector is the proliferation of connected devices, or the Internet of Things (IoT). What was unimaginable just a decade ago is now a reality. Manufacturers are the creators, users, servicers and installers of the IoT.

Manufacturers have become the first line of defense in securing our nation’s most critical online assets. As a result, our industry places the cybersecurity of its products and processes at the highest priority level.

As we kick off this month that recognizes the importance of cybersecurity to everyoneboth personally and professionallythe NAM will continue its focus on building a stronger publicprivate partnership. We will keep calling for economic tools to encourage investment beyond ordinary levels of commercial cybersecurity spending. We will encourage NIST to complete its cyber-framework efforts to determine the most cost-effective elements of cyber-defense. We will continue to call for a coordinated strategy across the government that helps secure and foster the growth of the IoT. We will work with our government partners and provide guidance on how to improve their resources available to manufacturers. Most importantly, we will continue to be America’s leading innovators.

NAM to FCC: Unnecessary Regulations Stifle Innovation Investment

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All five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are testifying today in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee. The FCC has been exercising its regulatory authority quite liberally lately, and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined other associations to send a message this morning: Undue regulatory burdens are putting our nation’s future innovation at risk.

The NAM signed a joint-industry letter to the leaders of the subcommittee calling attention to one of the most recent regulatory overreaches by the FCC: an attempt to create a new set of privacy requirements that would apply to only one industry. This is an unnecessary attempt by the FCC to extend its authority when another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, already has a robust privacy protection regime, which currently applies to all industries. The NAM also officially filed comments with the FCC on this issue in May of this year.

We applaud congressional leaders holding these agency leaders responsible. At a time when manufacturers are leveraging the internet across their shop floors and in the products made there, we cannot afford regulations that only accomplish one goal: thwarting investment in our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.

House to Consider Bipartisan Bill to Enhance Government-Wide IT Strategy

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The House is scheduled to consider the bipartisan Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5312) today. This legislation calls for better coordination across the federal government on its investment in research and development (R&D) on information technologies, such as networking, computing, software and cybersecurity. Read More

Senate Passes Critical Intellectual Property Legislation

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Tonight the U.S. Senate took a huge step toward protecting manufacturing products and processes from the current onslaught of intellectual property (IP) theft by passing the Defend Trade Secrets Act. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the bill’s passage, citing the important role IP has for manufacturers of all sizes:

“Manufacturers in America are the world leaders in innovation. The know-how to perfect their products can take years, even decades. These days, a competitor can steal that knowledge with the click of a mouse, costing a company good-paying jobs or even its entire business. This is a critical issue facing manufacturers, one that will define competition and success in the 21st century. That’s why we need all the tools possible to protect the superior knowledge and products that set our industry apart.

“IP can comprise up to 80 percent of the value of a company’s knowledge portfolio, and theft of these resources costs U.S. businesses roughly $250 billion a year. Manufacturers need a strong, unified federal policy that will enforce strict laws to protect what many businesses consider their most valued corporate assets. Today’s vote is a step toward updating our laws and helping manufacturers prevent IP theft aggressively and efficiently.

“We support Senate passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act and urge the House to take swift action to get this legislation to the president’s desk for his signature.”

Read More

NAM Member ABB Highlights Role of Internet of Things in Manufacturing

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Digital technology is changing the landscape of how the world makes things. More and more often, terms like “advanced manufacturing” and “smart” work are being used to describe the latest era in our sector. But what does “advanced manufacturing” mean? What affect is it having on the supply chain? On jobs? On our laws? Greg Scheu, executive committee member of ABB Group and president of ABB Americas Region, joined lawmakers, administration officials and technology experts in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss those questions.

The goal of advanced manufacturing, according to Scheu, is using technology to provide a competitive advantage—helping grow their business, service their customers and compete globally. Connected products and processes—or the Internet of Things—are helping manufacturers become more efficient in their processes and develop a broader, more customizable array of products to offer.  Read More

Sherrill Visits Detroit, Calls for Policies That Help Drive Manufacturing Innovation

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Technology is revolutionizing manufacturing—the Internet of Things, Big Data and the cloud. All of these innovative tools are changing what we make and how we make it. That was a topic of discussion at “Manufacturing in America,” an event hosted by Siemens and Electro-Matic Products this week at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. In his remarks Wednesday morning, Tenneco Inc. Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill delved into the many ways technology is not only empowering manufacturers, transforming our products and changing lives but also creating new policy challenges. Lawmakers must approach these challenges with care or risk stunting this growth opportunity for manufacturers in the United States.

Products and processes connected online, also known as the Internet of Things, facilitate the seamless integration of supply chains, drive increased global collaboration and connect design with production. The data generated allow manufacturers to get real-time feedback to better serve their customers and deliver higher quality and safer products. The cloud is securely moving information at light speed across borders. Read More

Senate “Internet of Things” Legislation Makes Manufacturers a Partner in Innovation Policy

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Yesterday, four senators rolled out a bipartisan bill that, if passed, would form an Internet of Things (IoT) working group at the Department of Commerce. The legislation, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act was introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (D-HI). The bill would require Commerce to create a working group that would give Congress recommendations on how best to encourage IoT growth.  Read More

Laws Need to Keep Up with Innovation in Manufacturing

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We are living in the world of modern manufacturing.  Walk in to a manufacturing facility on any given day and you will see state-of-the-art technology seamlessly integrated with manufacturing products and processes.  Much of this is being driven by the proliferation of connected devices—known as the Internet of Things (IoT)—which is increasing efficiency and product quality across the supply chain. Read More

President’s Budget Request Agrees with Manufacturers on Cybersecurity

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The president’s budget request for fiscal 2017 was released this morning and covered a number of issues grabbing the attention of our nation’s manufacturers. While there were a number of shortcomings in the budget, which you can read about here, the proposal did address the important area of cybersecurity and the need to address the serious threats facing our critical infrastructure.

Manufacturers take this threat very seriously as they are the owners, operators and makers of our nation’s most critical assets. They factor in the cyber threats they face from all over the globe at the beginning of the design process of their products and processes. And now, with the exponential growth of the transformative connected technology known as the “Internet of Things” pervasive throughout all industry sectors, manufacturers are now even more keenly aware of the need to secure their enterprise. Read More