Ames – North Central Iowa

Iowa State could become headquarters for $87 million national cybersecurity institute

Iowa manufacturers face a tough choice in the coming years: Fail to adapt to new technology and fall behind, or try to keep up and risk a wave of crippling digital attacks.

As executives and state officials push toward Industry 4.0 — with factories and machines outfitted with sensors that constantly communicate with one another — cyber security experts worry defenses won’t keep up. Companies will be vulnerable to hackers bent on shutting down a business just for the story.

Professors at Iowa State University hope to be on the front lines of fortifying the defense. The U.S. Department of Energy asked university officials earlier this year to apply for a $70 million grant to launch the Cybersecurity Research Institute in Ames.

“It would really put Iowa State on the map, if we were to get this, as the place to go for cybersecurity in advanced manufacturing,” said Surya Mallapragada, associate vice president of research at the university.

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