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Driving Our Economy Forward: Smart Factory Institute Offers Cyber Security Tips

Original article written by Emily Cassulo, Anchor/Reporter, WDEF Channel 12, and reposted with permission from author.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — As more companies do their business online, cyber security is more important than ever.

That’s why the Smart Factory Institute in Bradley County recently brought in cyber experts from across the country.

They’re sharing ways to prevent criminal use of new tech like AI.

It’s another way the Institute is driving our economy forward.

“Today’s been very exciting, really focused on critical networks for manufacturers and how important it is for our business,” said Denise Hall, President/CEO of Peak Performance and Smart Factory Institute. “The items that are important are cyber security, scalability, reliability, and integration. And all of our speakers today have been talking in those areas. With the recent cyber attack on Chattanooga State, it has really hit home, very close to home. And so it was really important to have the Department of U.S. Homeland Security here today talking to us about how cyber criminals are getting into our systems, and then also the resources that are available to us to thwart those actions.”

"At Solmax, our cyber security department works very closely with our manufacturing team,” said Tyler Fugate, a cyber security engineer for Solmax. “As we’ve heard today in some of these speakers, cyber security and the manufacturing side is very important, probably one of the most important things for businesses to pay attention to. In some of the speeches today, they mentioned that data is probably our number one asset. Each company, no matter who you work for, you collect data on your customers, your employees, everything like that. And data is a commodity now. It’s valuable. So securing that data, securing your systems, is incredibly important.”

“It’s critical. I think everybody’s nervous about it, and they should be,” said Tyler York, CEO of WYRE Technology. “Some folks are really proactive and have done a lot to protect themselves. And those that haven’t tend to find out the hard way that it can really take down their business and cause a lot of problems for financially and for the employee’s life. Be proactive. Don’t be a victim. Handle things before it’s a problem. Invest in good tools. Invest in good people. Invest in good partners. And make sure that you check your partners. Make sure that they’re doing a good job and that they’re not another vector to be a problem.”

“I hope that they have made really good connections that can help them improve their business, and that they’re able to find good partners that they can collaborate with,” Hall said.

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