UMBC researchers will collaborate with the Chicago-based MxD to develop a curriculum and online platform for manufacturing professionals to increase their cybersecurity skills and to protect manufacturing plants from cyber breaches. The work is funded by a $650,000 grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment, under the U.S. Department of Defense.

MxD is one of 14 federally-supported institutes known collectively as Manufacturing USA. It has awarded millions of dollars to research and development projects across 35 states to advance U.S. manufacturing practices and increase global competitiveness. This UMBC collaboration will be the first initiative focused on increasing manufacturing workers’ knowledge of cybersecurity.

The content of this program is completely new, as there are no existing platforms that focus on the intersection of cybersecurity and manufacturing, said Nilanjan Banerjee, professor of computer science and electrical engineering at UMBC and principal investigator on the grant.