Cybersecurity Solutions for SMMs’ Operational Technology Equipment

This project will identify the cybersecurity problems that small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) face with the increase in networked operational technology (OT) equipment on the factory floor. It will then recommend solutions and build a case for investment in cybersecurity infrastructure.


For American manufacturers to remain competitive, having networked operational technology (OT) equipment on the factory floor is becoming a necessity. Yet, as more manufacturing equipment is connected to a network, security risks and vulnerabilities grow. Most companies lack the information technology (IT) and cybersecurity resources to understand cyberthreats and how to protect a connected shop floor. Many manufacturers are unsure where to start, what cybersecurity tools they need, or how to implement the tools effectively.

Proposed Solution

The team will interview SMMs to identify the largest hurdles to cybersecurity adoption. From this baseline, it will recommend ways to address the issues. Additionally, it will develop a return-on-investment-based tool to help show SMM decision-makers the importance of prioritizing spending to protect their operations from cyberthreats.


This project will help accelerate the pace at which SMMs — even those that currently lack information and resources — are able to adopt secure cyber practices. Increasing cybersecurity among smaller organizations will have a positive impact on their entire supply chain.