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Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at SwRI offers cybersecurity support to federal contractors

Sept. 17, 2019 — The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) South Central Region, a program managed by Southwest Research Institute, is announcing compliance and education services to enhance cybersecurity protocols for companies that manufacture for the federal government.

Certain contractors with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA) or NASA must comply with cybersecurity standards established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Although the standards became effective in 2017, many contractors are either unaware of them or they lack the capabilities to develop a compliance plan. Through a Department of Defense-funded program, TMAC is helping manufacturers develop a cybersecurity compliance plan with cost-effective services and education.

“Compliance with this NIST cybersecurity framework is a must to win work for federal manufacturing contractors, and the requirement may eventually extend down the manufacturing supply chain,” said Sandra Hawkins, an SwRI program manager at TMAC. “Our cybersecurity assistance is a straightforward path to protecting your business from malicious cyber-attacks.”

The NIST standards, published under Special Publication 800-171, or NIST SP 800-171, can be found under the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS 252.204-7012.

TMAC provides workshops to improve competitiveness of small manufacturers in addition to providing assistance to reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Services offered by TMAC and SwRI help demonstrate compliance by completing a formal gap assessment and creating a plan of action to resolve vulnerabilities. Program participants will receive documentation to demonstrate compliance.

“TMAC helps Texas manufacturers reduce expenses on areas such as cybersecurity, supplier development and technology acceleration,” added Bill Rafferty, regional director of the TMAC South Central Region.

For more information, visit DFARS Cybersecurity, or contact Robert Crowe+1 210 522 4630, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.