JANUARY 4, 2021 — Editor’s note: This op-ed by UTSA’s Howard Grimes originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.
U.S. manufacturers are the top target for nation-state adversarial cyber-attacks from foreign nations. These adversaries aim to disrupt the nation’s economy and global competitiveness, reduce the ability of manufacturers to deliver goods and erode U.S. innovations in advanced manufacturing.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored several vulnerabilities in U.S. supply chains. Notably, nation-state sponsored hackers have targeted the COVID-19 cold supply chain, which is critical to the transport of temperature-sensitive products like COVID-19 vaccines.
The chief targets have been companies and organizations associated with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform. Gavi is an effort to streamline and strengthen the cold supply chain.
At the start of this year, for example, China attempted to cyber-attack Moderna, a leading COVID-19 manufacturer. In July, officials from the United States, U.K. and Canada identified Russian hackers targeting vaccine development, presumably for competitive advantages.
Earlier this month, reports emerged that North Korean hackers cyber-attacked at least six pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., U.K. and South Korea, seeking critical information to sell or weaponize. These attacks are concerning, given the delicate and precise nature of vaccines.
As we plan COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution, the logistics and operation of cold supply chains is pivotal. Preventing an attack requires effective cybersecurity diligence at each step of the vaccine supply chain.
While there are specific steps being taken to prevent any harm stemming from these attacks, we must do more.
We need to develop supply chains that are “PURE”:
Universities including The University of Texas at San Antonio have partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to protect the nation’s manufacturers, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, from cyber-attacks through its Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or CyManII. The public-private consortium includes 59 industry, university and nonprofit partners — as well as three national labs and four Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
One key innovation that this Institute will supply to manufacturers is the “cyber physical passport.” This passport enables cyber-physical identification, tracking, and verification of parts, compounds, and products in a uniform, hierarchical fashion with a framework that is extensible to variety of processes across sectors from petroleum refining to vaccine development and distribution.
By using the cyber physical passport in their supply chains, manufacturers will be able to reprogram their processes and adapt to the current state of the entire supply chain network with extreme granularity. To ward off cyber-attacks, CyManII will ensure this reprogramming can be done in hours, helping to nimbly protect and secure the nation’s manufacturing ecosystem in real-time.
Adopting a “PURE” approach to manufacturing and supply chains leads to an innovative digital architecture that enables pandemic adaptive, resilient and trusted supply chains. It is important that the vaccines developed by our nation’s researchers can be delivered to hundreds of millions and even billions of people without being compromised.
Each vaccine must be genuine, produced to its exact formula and not tampered with. Vaccine-producing facilities will benefit from a well-conceived digital architecture to become secure and significantly more efficient, flexible and resilient.
By having institutes like CyManII at UTSA, U.S. manufacturers will have the world-class resources they need to protect and secure the nation’s manufacturing ecosystem for decades.
Come learn about the field of engineering from Hispanic professionals!(SEB 2.04.06,) Main Campus
National Night Out 2023 is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our campus community safer, more caring place to learn.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
PEACE Center will be requesting you to put your hand print on our banner to make a pledge that you will not be using your hand for hitting! PEACE will provide all of the supplies, just please come out and support this fun event.Student Union Paseo
Join us for an electrifying night of music! Experience the vocal prowess and rhythmic power of the Patsy Torres Band as they join the UTSA Chamber Strings and Mariachi Los Paisanos! Get ready to dance, sing along, and be moved by the incredible talent on stage. Don't miss out on this unforgettable musical experience!Recital Hall, Main Campus
Come and practice your Spanish in a friendly and engaging environment! You will also learn about Hispanic cultures with us as we play games, watch videos, sing, and participate in many other language and cultural activities! All levels are welcome! ¡Nos vemosWillow Room (SU 2.02.12,) Main Campus
Come network with engineering employers!HEB Student Union Ballrooms 1 & 2, Main Campus
Join us for a culinary celebration on the lawn at UTSA’s Westside Community Center. UTSA Libraries will be collecting recipes and food memories and food trucks will be on hand selling bites inspired by UTSA's Mexican Cookbook Collection.UTSA Westside Community Center, 1310 Guadalupe St San Antonio, TX 78207
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.