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UTSA’s New Cyber Center to Defend Critical Infrastructure

The new Texas Manufacturing x Transformation Hub will train IT professionals to protect networks used by manufacturers, where autonomous technologies and other digital tools will present new cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The Texas Manufacturing x Transformation Hub, a new facility within UT San Antonio’s Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, will train professionals to safeguard infrastructure and transportation assets operated by U.S. public- and private-sector partners.
(Port San Antonio)
The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or CyManII, will establish a new facility to train cybersecurity professionals to protect manufacturing assets and critical public infrastructure, according to a news release last week.

The announcement said the Texas Manufacturing x Transformation Hub, or TxMx Hub, will offer certification courses for positions related to IT security in manufacturing, where public- and private-sector organizations have adopted autonomous technologies and digitized operations to produce goods more efficiently.

Officials said the center will be housed in facilities provided to the university by Port San Antonio city officials, valued at $2.5 million, and funded through $5 million awarded by the state to boost IT workforce development training within industries such as aerospace, computer hardware, advanced manufacturing, robotics, automobiles and electric vehicles.

The university said the hub will work with industry partners by introducing manufacturers to technical research projects and training students for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certifications (CMMC) through the Department of Defense, among other IT security training, as the nation grapples with an increase in cyber attacks across the board.

“The nation faces critical challenges and at the forefront is our vulnerability to cyber attacks from cyber criminals (and) nation-state adversaries,” CyManII CEO Howard Grimes said in a public statement. “For the U.S. to compete on the global stage, it is imperative that our manufacturing infrastructure is cyber secure.”

CyManII’s smart workforce development service, TrustWorks-aaS, will also give manufacturing leaders, employees and students access to skills training in the newest IT security tactics, as well as ways to make production more energy efficient.

“U.S. workers are the heart of our manufacturing economy, but the skills needed to work in this industry are changing,” CyManII’s Vice President for TrustWorks Paris Stringfellow said in a public statement. “Energy-efficient digitization must be protected, and it’s up to all employees to do their part. CyManII’s workforce development efforts are designed to address the unique requirements of cybersecurity in a manufacturing environment and will bring accessible, relevant and specialized training to workers across the country.”