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How Military Cybersecurity Trends Impact Defense Contractors

Posted by Ben Harrison on May 17, 2017 9:23:00 AM
Ben Harrison

Cybersecurity-Impacts-Defense-Contractors.jpgWith recent administration changes, the U.S. government is throwing its weight—and dollars—behind defense initiatives. This proposed and actual uptick in spending is providing defense contractors with opportunities to support our troops with sophisticated devices and technologies, and protect them from growing cyber-threats aimed at disarming such military systems.

While the Pentagon has actively addressed military cybersecurity for a number of years, tweaking rules to accommodate the unprecedented number of handheld and mobile tools used for asset tracking, troop monitoring, battlefield connectivity and emergency remote control of military equipment is an ongoing and pressing effort. More to the point, if the data these devices produce isn’t locked down, military intelligence is placed at significant risk.

This raises the stakes for defense contractors. In addition to end product performance, less obvious but equally important, cyber-protection expectations extend to how and what defense contractors communicate to their suppliers/manufacturing partners, including injection molders like Kaysun. If the U.S. government cannot be assured that classified and unclassified technical information is secure during transmission over vendor networks or storage on IT servers, remaining on their preferred contractor list is highly doubtful.

The same outcome may befall defense contractors that don’t partner with vendors that can consistently meet government stipulations in production — chiefly supply chain management. Is the vendor experienced in product design and build for military applications? How do they contribute to cybersecurity for our armed forces? An established history with a vendor will help defense contractors easily answer these questions, but depending on the government project, you may need to work with a new vendor; one not already on your approved list. Then what? A bit of sleuthing may be in order to verify a potential partner’s certifications and historical project success.

For complex plastic parts, injection molders with ITAR certification and demonstrated experience with military applications may be a good fit for defense projects. If that molder also supplied innovative solutions for cybersecurity, such as designing in features like electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) to minimize interference with military electronics in the field, that depth of knowledge further reinforces the injection molder’s ability to help contractors secure government confidence—and contracts.

Defense contractors must be sensitive to the dualistic nature of cybersecurity technology—integral for today’s military missions yet fraught with peril to military intelligence and troops if compromised. Working with vendors experienced in defense applications, like Kaysun, strengthens all links in the supply chain.

For more on the critical role injection molders play in cybersecurity and EMI shielding, download Plastic Materials for Safety and Reliability: A Guide for Military & Defense Applications. Click the button below to get your free copy.

Plastic Materials for Military Apps eBook

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