FuzeHub Cybersecurity Initiatives: 2019 Review and 2020 Outlook

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FuzeHub is helping NYS manufacturers strengthen their cybersecurity and increase their competitiveness. In 2019, FuzeHub supported cybersecurity initiatives from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) network. In 2020, FuzeHub will continue to support programs that assist companies with the new cybersecurity requirements.
For manufacturers in the defense industry, cybersecurity isn’t just about protection. It’s a requirement for retaining DoD contracts and bidding on new opportunities. For manufacturers in commercial supply chains, cybersecurity is also critical. By building upon 2019’s successes and streamlining future efforts, FuzeHub and its partners look forward to getting even greater results for NYS manufacturers. Here’s a review of last year’s efforts and our outlook for 2020.     
2019 DoD Cybersecurity Assistance Grant
Last year, 33 NYS manufacturers, who are part of the defense supply chain, received funding under the DoD Cybersecurity Assistance Grant program. Three centers within the NY MEP network administered this NYSTAR-supported cybersecurity initiative.  FuzeHub, the state-wide MEP Center, marketed and helped manage the program. Two regional MEP Centers, the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) at Mohawk Valley Community College and the Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC) in the Mid-Hudson Valley delivered cybersecurity services. AIM was the primary recipient of the $300,000 DoD Cybersecurity Assistance Grant and held grant responsibilities with NYSTAR.   
AIM and MTEC conducted cybersecurity assessments for manufacturers across New York State and identified gaps between existing protocols and DoD cybersecurity requirements. DFARS 252.204-7012 defines the requirements that defense manufacturers need to follow. It references NIST SP 800-171, a Special Publication (SP) from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that is commonly understood to be a minimum requirement for good cybersecurity practice. Manufacturers who received a cyber assessment from AIM or MTEC, and then took corrective action consistent with the NIST SP 800-171 guidelines, were issued a letter of completion.

2019 NY MEP Cybersecurity Fund
Defense contractors and subcontractors aren’t the only manufacturers who need stronger cybersecurity. Companies in the automotive supply chain also handle confidential information and face cyber threats. Meanwhile, an increasing number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are focusing on cybersecurity as part of their supplier qualification. To support NYS manufacturers, FuzeHub and the  Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium (MTRC), Long Island’s MEP Center, set aside $200,000 in cyber funding. A portion of this funding was made available to each of the 10 regional MEP centers on a pro-rata distribution basis that mirrors the current MEP funding distribution from NYS.  
The goal of the 2019 NY MEP Cybersecurity Fund was to raise awareness of NIST SP 800-171 while providing grants up to $5,000 per eligible company for small-to-medium manufacturers who wanted to identify and address their cybersecurity deficiencies as measured by NIST SP 800-171. Eligible uses of funds included cybersecurity assessments and projects for implementing cybersecurity measures. In 2019, over 40 NYS manufacturers received grants under the NY MEP Cybersecurity Fund. Long Island, the Mid-Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes were well-represented among the recipient regions.        
2019 Events and Webinars
In 2019, FuzeHub participated and partnered in five events across New York State where manufacturers learned about the importance of cybersecurity and available cyber assistance.    

FuzeHub also partnered with the University at Albany to host CybersecurityNOW, a series of free webinars designed to help manufacturing and technology firms bolster their cybersecurity protections. This NYSTAR-funded initiative recorded five webinars in just six weeks during Q4 2019 and reached over 300 attendees. 

All the above webinars are available online.
2020 Cybersecurity Initiative Preview
In 2020, FuzeHub has set aside new funds for cybersecurity assistance and is pursuing federal grant opportunities that could help more NYS manufacturers. In addition, FuzeHub plans to organize live events and webinars to promote greater awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and available sources of assistance. To discuss your company’s cybersecurity goals for 2020, you can request a consultation with FuzeHub.    


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