MVCC helps launch statewide cybersecurity effort

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UTICA — Mohawk Valley Community College’s Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) and FuzeHub are teaming up to help New York’s defense manufacturers strengthen their cybersecurity protocols and meet federal compliance standards.

The newly announced NY MEP Cybersecurity Assistance Program is designed for small- to medium-sized manufacturers in New York that serve the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain, officials said. Through the program, participating organizations will receive technical and self-assessment training to help them meet DoD cybersecurity requirements in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) standards.

Achieving compliance in cybersecurity is increasingly critical to maintaining contracts with the DoD, officials added.

The NY MEP Cybersecurity Assistance Program will offer:

Cohort membership with exclusive access to cybersecurity guidance and online self-assessment training. The 320-member cohort is open to applications from small- to medium-sized manufacturers that are part of the DoD supply chain. There is no cost for qualified manufacturers to join the cohort;

Funding for a personalized cybersecurity risk assessment. Of the 320 cohort manufacturers, 67 will be eligible for a risk-assessment grant up to $6,000. The assessment will be performed by AIM, the Manufacturing and Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC), Twinstate Technologies or one of their trusted subcontractors;

Workshops on the basics of cybersecurity, featuring presentations by industry and academic experts. Participants will gain exposure to different types of threats and to the consequences of being underprepared to defend against cyber criminals, as well as the federal government’s expectations for members at every level of its supply chain; and

Webinars on current and emerging cybersecurity topics, such as learning about the unseen enemies, protecting against internal threats, industry standards and requirements, and more.

“The NY MEP Cybersecurity Assistance Program is launching at a critical time, with cyber threats on the rise amid the pandemic and the Department of Defense’s third-party certification audits underway,” said AIM Director Cory Albrecht. “AIM is proud to be working with FuzeHub to help supply-chain manufacturers be fully compliant and proactive in their approaches to data security.”

“New York’s manufacturers have a longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship with the Department of Defense. But to continue doing business with the DoD, these contractors need to be up to speed on cybersecurity best practices,” said FuzeHub executive director Elena Garuc. “The NY MEP Cybersecurity Assistance Program will give those manufacturers the know-how to ensure they remain protected from malicious actors, in good standing with the government, and able to do the important work of ensuring our nation’s safety.”

The NY MEP Cybersecurity Assistance Program is supported by funding from NYSTAR, Empire State Development’s (ESD) NYS Division of Science, Technology & Innovation. 

MVCC’s Advanced Institute for Manufacturing is the NYSTAR-designated regional New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) center in the Mohawk Valley. It is designed to provide small- and medium-sized manufacturers with training, consulting, and technology services that lead to new product development, cost reductions, increased efficiency, and profits. For more information about AIM, visit aim-mep.org.

FuzeHub is a nonprofit organization that is geared to connect New York’s small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to the resources, programs and expertise they need for technology commercialization, innovation, and business growth. Through its custom assessment, matching, and referral platform, FuzeHub aims to assist companies navigate New York’s network of industry experts at Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, universities, economic development organizations, and other providers. FuzeHub is the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program center, supported by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR). For more information, visit www.fuzehub.com.

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) is a network of 11 organizations that provide growth and innovation services to small and mid-sized manufacturers in every corner of the state to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. Supported through a combination of federal and state funding, the NY MEP is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Science Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). In 2019, the NY MEP created or retained 5,275 manufacturing jobs and generated $992 million in company cost savings, new investments and increased or retained sales.

For more information on NY MEP, visit www.newyorkmep.org.

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