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.

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

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

NAM Urges Senate to Move and Pass Cybersecurity Bill

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The U.S. Senate this week may consider S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), introduced by Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). This bipartisan bill was passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the spring by an overwhelming vote of 14-1. The NAM is calling on the Senate to pass this bill that will benefit manufacturers as soon as possible. Read More

NAM Supports Senate Action on Cyber Bill

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Technology and the deployment of it across the shopfloors and throughout the products of the manufacturing industry has raised cybersecurity to a C-suite priority. Manufacturers know that strong cybersecurity means strong economic security. The NAM has therefore joined more than 45 other industry groups calling for passage of S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Security Act (CISA) of 2015. Read More

House Acts on Cyber Bills Today, Senate Needs to Follow

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The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on four separate cybersecurity- related bills. The four pieces of legislation cover a number of issues ranging from improving the Federal cybersecurity workforce to facilitating more sharing of real-time threat information between the public and private sector. The NAM applauds the House for addressing a top priority for all manufacturers but we are still faced with a cold reality – if the Senate does not also act, none of these bills will become law.

The NAM has advocated aggressively for legislation that would increase the ability of the private sector to receive up-to-date information on the ever-present cyberthreat faced by manufacturers. Trade secrets, patents, customer data, and technological innovations are what separate manufacturers in the United States from their competitors. The NAM works on a number of different fronts to help protect this “secret sauce” but a government partner is needed. Federal Agencies have access to information that, if shared with the private sector, can do a great deal to help protect our innovation from bad actors. There has been a lot of talk from Congress about understanding this need, but little action.

Manufacturers place cybersecurity as one of their highest priorities. They are committed to keeping our assets secure and therefore keeping our nation safe. These and many other issues are at the top of the agenda of the NAM D.A.T.A. Center, a venue for NAM members to educate  policy makers and the general public to ensure they know the innovative breakthroughs in all aspects of life come from manufacturers. To get involved in the D.A.T.A. Center contact, Brian Raymond, NAM’s Director of Technology and Domestic Economic Policy.


The bills scheduled to be considered today by the House of Representatives are:

H.R. 2952 – The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act

H.R. 3107 – The Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act

H.R. 3696 – The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act

H.R. 3635 – Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of 2013

NAM Weighs in with White House on Cybersecurity

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today joined more than 20 other associations from a diverse set of industries on a letter to White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel. The letter was in response to a May 22 blog by Daniel in which he recognized the important partnership that has to exist between the public and private sector in order to enhance our nation’s cybersecurity.

The NAM has called for legislation to increase the ability to share information between manufacturers and the federal government. This legislation has passed the House and we encourage the Senate to also act. Manufacturers have also actively participated in the development of the NIST Cybersecurity framework and will continue to engage. As the letter states, the NAM agrees with Mr. Daniel that the framework “should remain collaborative, voluntary, and innovative over the long term” and should not lead to a new regulatory regime.

Manufacturers are committed to keeping our assets secure and therefore keeping our nation safe. The letter captures many of the initiatives already underway across many industries to educate companies on the latest cybersecurity tools and trends. The NAM’s D.A.T.A. Center is highlighted in the letter as one of the innovative ways manufacturers are working together on the issue of cybersecurity and our other technology priorities.

The NAM and our members continue to remain vigilant against the persistent cyberthreat in today’s connected world. We are pleased to see the White House make these public statements that the want to partner with us in these efforts.

Today’s Cybersecurity Framework Must Not Lead to New Regulations Tomorrow

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One year ago, President Obama issued an Executive Order on cybersecurity tasking the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate meetings with the private sector and produce a cybersecurity “framework” for owners and operators of critical infrastructure. The final version of that framework was released today after much input by all segments of manufacturing.

NIST held a series of workshops around the country and solicited feedback from the private sector on how best the government can partner with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to create this framework. They sought input on technology, standards, and implementation among other issues. The result is a 40+ page document that includes recommended activities and best practices to help secure networks and data in critical infrastructure sectors. The framework also provides “profiles” and “tiers” aimed at assisting organizations benchmark their current cybersecurity practices.

This framework and the related policy debate matter to all manufacturers because we are the owners, operators, and builders of critical infrastructure. Because of this all NAM members take cybersecurity very seriously and they welcomed the opportunity to work with the Administration on this important effort. Manufacturers understand that our economic security is linked directly to our cybersecurity. As the President rightly said in his statement issued today on the framework, “our economy is harmed by the theft of our intellectual property”. This is the reason that manufacturers go to great lengths to secure their enterprise and we were pleased to see many of our current best practices included in the framework.

As manufacturers and policymakers examine the framework, the NAM continues to stress that it must remain voluntary. Any attempt to turn these guidelines into mandatory regulations will have the opposite effect of enhancing cybersecurity. As the NAM has said numerous times to the Administration and Congress, the best way to increase cybersecurity of our critical infrastructure is to pass legislation that allows for the sharing of information between the public and private sector without the threat of liability for doing so.

The NAM looks forward to continuing our work with the Administration and Capitol Hill on this top priority for manufacturers.

Manufacturers Win with Cybersecurity

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Today was a big win for manufacturers in the House of Representatives. In recent years, cybersecurity has become more and more of a focus for manufacturers who operate networks featuring comprehensive and collaborative networks between customers, vendors, suppliers and governments. As the threat of online attacks grows, manufacturers have implemented the most complete security possible to protect those networks – but current law doesn’t offer the full protection manufacturers need. But with today’s passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) of 2013 (H.R. 624) we’re a lot closer.

“Manufacturers take any intrusion seriously, but the problem is that we can’t get any information from the government about what those threats are,” said NAM Director of Technology and Domestic Economic Policy Brian Raymond. “CISPA fixes the problem by creating a stronger partnership among the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community and manufacturers, allowing them to collaborate when credible threats arise.”

Marlin Steel, led by President Drew Greenblatt, an NAM executive committee member, takes a strong stance against cyber crime, noting, “if greater information-sharing can help find and prosecute someone using the Internet to commit a crime, it is a line worth shifting.”

The House voted 288-127 to pass the bill – with significant and widespread bipartisan support. Support for CISPA is strong and growing. Which makes the President’s threat of a veto perplexing at best. This is a solution that delivers the necessary protections and information sharing without adding duplicative regulations that fail to improve security. CISPA will allow manufacturers to take an increasingly proactive, rather than a reactive, approach to threats.

As the NAM Technology Subcommittee Chair, Eric Fitzgerald Reed, said, “Cybersecurity will play a significant role in defining the future of the Internet and business in the 21st century, so it is natural that the manufacturing and high-tech communities strongly support the CISPA legislation.”

It’s time for the Senate and the President to take the baton and put into law the protections that manufacturers need to counter the growing cyber threats in an online world.