DMDII names director for manufacturing cybersecurity center

July 18, 2018
Center focuses on awareness, workforce development and tools.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) announced that information-security expert Koushik Subramanian has been named director of the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing. DMDII launched the center in March with $750,000 in seed funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.

As manufacturing begins to retrofit or build assembly lines with such software and sensors, the attack surface only expands, according to DMDII. Thirty-five percent of all cyber-espionage attacks in the US are addressed at the manufacturing sector, the largest amount of any single sector, according to the 2017 Verizon data breach investigation report.

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“The security of the American manufacturing supply chain is dependent on the practices of its individual manufacturers, the vast majority of which are smaller enterprises,” said Tracy Frost, director of Department of Defense manufacturing technologies, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy. “The center will lower the educational and cost barriers that the sector faces to increase readiness for cyber-attacks.”

In addition to Subramanian’s role as director of manufacturing cybersecurity for DMDII, he will also serve as chief information security officer for UI LABS, DMDII’s parent organization, which is driving the digital future of manufacturing and cities.

Prior to DMDII, Subramanian, was director of risk and compliance at Uptake Technologies. He led data privacy, risk and information-security initiatives in addition to helping secure newly procured technology. Prior to joining Uptake, Subramanian was a qualified security assessor and managing consultant at Trustwave, where he helped Fortune 1000 companies become compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

“We are thrilled to welcome Koushik to the team to guide the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing as we ramp up our cybersecurity activities,” said Caralynn Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “His experience in the Industrial IoT space will be invaluable as we continue to address the unique security needs of the connected factory for defense manufacturers and other corporate partners.”

The new center will concentrate its activities in three areas: awareness building, workforce development and low-cost tool development. To disseminate educational materials, hardware and software tools to factories nationwide, the center is partnering with the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which has centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and provides services to more than 26,000 manufacturers annually.