In February 2022, the ARM Institute convened a group of experts for a discussion on Cybersecurity for Robotics and the Impact on Workforce.
The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute is the leading national consortium for robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomy and security. In this webinar held in February 2022, a panel was convened to center on the issues relative to preparing the manufacturing workforce to deal with cybersecurity issues and to better understand the issues, competencies and training needed to protect the robotic assets and the workforce.
The panel focused on the following:
- How to protect robots from cyberattacks at the edge (machine level and relative to the interface between the machines and the network)
- Competencies needed for the robotic technicians to upskill to address cyber challenges
- Need for training on protecting robots from cyberattacks
- Key cyber training programs for robotic technicians to acquire these competencies
Lead Moderator: Lisa Masciantonio, Chief Workforce Officer, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute
Michael Garamoni, Manager, MxD Learn
Davina Pruitt-Mentle, Lead for Academic Engagement, National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Ted Rozier, Director of Engineering, Festo Didactic
SOLUTIONS & KEY LESSONS LEARNED
1. Government organizations like the National Institute of Cybersecurity Education (NICE) was established to provide cybersecurity resources to both federal and private sectors
The NICE office is a partnership between the government, academia and private sector focusing on supporting the country’s ability to address current and future cybersecurity education and workforce challenges through standards and best practices. NICE, which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the US Dept of Commerce, is housed within the Information Technology Lab (ITL) Lab within NIST in the Applied Security division. The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) was established under President Bush in 2008 which included 12 Initiatives with number 8, supporting cybersecurity. President Obama elevated the CNCI Initiative 8 from just a federal security to include the private sector making it a national strategy. This focus on cybersecurity awareness began promoting job creation and economic growth which is still providing opportunities in the workforce and moving more into manufacturing and robotics.
2. This pandemic has only reinforced the need and urgency for cybersecurity
Prior to the pandemic, the cybersecurity unemployment rate was at zero percent. People are interested in cybersecurity because it is both a lucrative career path and it really makes an important difference in protecting the nation and our communities from cyberattacks. With the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, manufacturing’s growing reliance on automation, advanced control systems, and remote work only expanded the cyberattack surface. The pandemic proved that cybersecurity is even more important than ever as more and more professionals are working remotely and manufacturers have increased the adoption for cybersecurity. Opportunities are only continuing to grow as we protect our businesses and factories.
3. Opportunities are abounding in cybersecurity at every level
It is a fantastic time for cybersecurity so don’t ignore the opportunity to enter this field. All the tools are available at a click of a button; curriculum is readily available to learn and grow. Ideally, it is good to start early in education even at the K-12 level. Multiple career pathways in cybersecurity exist from community colleges or universities, apprenticeships, internal reskilling or upskilling to a new career. Cybersecurity has both technical and non-technical opportunities. Also, we need diversity in this critical area and we need to makes sure we are reaching veterans, women and diverse communities.
4. The key competency in cybersecurity is safety
In the NICE Workforce framework, the NIST special application 800181 outlines the 7 broad categories and 52 work rules with knowledge and skills needed for specific tasks. One of the key competencies is around safety; it is a real need. At a basic level, a robotics technician needs to be able to respond quickly at the first sign that something is not working, identifying abnormalities quickly and how to design or program with security in mind. While software development and network protection are the areas with most immediate application, safety is a really critical piece. Information on safety is available on the NIST website.
5. The DoD has established an Institute to focus specifically on cybersecurity in manufacturing
In partnership with the Department of Defense, MxD equips U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity, and workforce expertise needed to begin strengthening U.S. manufacturing. MxD, a sister institute to ARM Institute, was established in Chicago as a digital institute with a mission to enhance the US manufacturing competitiveness by supporting manufacturing in developing and deploying advanced digital technologies in manufacturing. As manufacturing shifts to this digital paradigm, the risks in cybersecurity increases and it becomes even more important to make sure they stay secure. MxD’s focus tends to be on small/medium manufacturers, which makes up 98% of manufacturing and to address their unique needs in digital and workforce development and to improve their level of digital adoption.
The ARM Institute’s RoboticsCareer.org – RoboticsCareer.org is a national capability demystifying manufacturing careers working with robotics and connects career seekers with training that will give them the skills they need.
NICE/NIST – The mission of NICE is to energize, promote, and coordinate a robust community working together to advance an integrated ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.
MxD Institute – MxD, one of the ARM Institute’s fellow Manufacturing USA Institutes, equips U.S. manufacturers with the digital manufacturing tools and expertise they need to begin building every single part better than the last.
Hiring Guide – The Hiring Guide: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing is a playbook for building that urgently needed workforce.
Festo Didactic – Festo Didactic is the world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for technical education.
Festo Technical education for networking and IT security
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About the ARM Institute
The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Agreement Number W911NF-17-3-0004 and is part of the Manufacturing USA network. The ARM Institute leverages a unique, robust, and diverse ecosystem of 300+ consortium members and partners across industry, academia, and government to make robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence more accessible to U.S. manufacturers large and small, train and empower the manufacturing workforce, strengthen our economy and global competitiveness, and elevate national security and resilience. Based in Pittsburgh, PA since 2017, the ARM Institute is leading the way to a future where people & robots work together to respond to our nation’s greatest challenges and to produce the world’s most desired products. For more information, visit www.arminstitute.org and follow the ARM Institute on LinkedIn and Twitter.