National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing Selects Cybersecurity Startup to Lead Manufacturing Supply Chain Project

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The Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) MxD (Manufacturing x Digital), designated by the Department of Defense (DoD) as the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing, has selected Corsha, a Washington DC-based cybersecurity startup, to take the lead on a project designing “playbooks” for securely moving manufacturing data across digital networks. Corsha will collaborate with the Ohio State University (OSU) Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) to develop Hyperledger Fabric-based software for a variety of different production environments, while addressing a range of manufacturing technologies.

Hyperledger Fabric, a Linux Foundation project, is an open-source platform providing enterprise-level blockchain technologies. According to Corsha, the project’s ultimate aim is to create an application that automates data movement across operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) systems used for supply chain management. Especially, the goal is to provide enterprises with insight into how they can maximize value within their workflows by deploying such distributed ledger technologies.

In a press release about the project, Corsha CEO and founder Anusha Iyer said, “Corsha’s platform as the Identity Provider for Machines has the potential to transform the manufacturing supply chain by increasing transparency, cybersecurity, and efficiency. One of our core missions is to safeguard proprietary data across manufacturing supply chains. We’re excited to partner with OSU on empowering the industry with tools and playbooks to adeptly identify use cases, mitigate risks, and adopt technologies tailored to their unique operational needs.

“We will base our approach on a simple point system that prioritizes the need for assessing specific supply chain use cases and can support intuitive implementation schemes in OT environments. The Corsha and OSU team has a deep background and past performance in the technologies, research, and processes to deliver on this MxD project call.”

Smart manufacturing and additive manufacturing (AM) are obviously separate domains, but the most interesting areas for both spaces going forward may be those where they intersect. Above all, that is because applications leveraging distributed production encompass the most urgent use cases for AM in the present global geopolitical environment.

Notably, in Rockwell Automation’s recently-released ninth annual ‘State of Smart Manufacturing Report’, cybersecurity issues were, for the first time, named one of the top five obstacles to growth for businesses deploying smart manufacturing, coming in third. Since the geopolitical angle creating a lane for ramped-up distributed manufacturing primarily relates to the accelerating revival of Great Power competition, it is unthinkable that any enterprise would/could ramp up its activities on that front without prioritizing cybersecurity.

On the other hand, a platform like Corsha’s, whose tagline is Zero Trust for Machines, could enable manufacturers to ramp up both cybersecurity and data visibility all at once, providing a double boost to the business case for distributed manufacturing: cybersecurity gets enterprises in the door, and increased data visibility incentivizes greater adoption once they’re in. In this sense, fully embracing smart manufacturing principles might be an ideal way for AM OEMs to attract new adopters.

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