The year may be ending, but cybersecurity challenges are only heating up heading into 2023. To get prepared, Scott and Kevin sat down with Bruce Spector and Karen Braxton to discuss the top five cybersecurity priorities for manufacturing next year in this episode sponsored by Microsoft. Learn more about how Maryland’s state government has supported increased workforce training for digital security, why you need to take a holistic approach and enforce procedures, and much more. #MSFTAmbassador
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton and the one and only Kevin L. Jackson with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show, Kevin. How you doing?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:38):
Hey, I’m good. You know, uh, today’s show is gonna be great. We’re gonna talk about cyber security. I love cyber security. Um, and it’s gonna be, we really gonna start helping people get ready for 2023, these business leaders, whereas they, they focus on, uh, what is your, um, resolutions for the new year. What are your five cyber security resolutions or priorities, uh, as a manufacturer in 2023
Scott Luton (01:11):
That is right. And of course, cyber security and one of the biggest topics of our time, whether you’re in global supply chain or, or certainly manufacturing, which is gonna be a big focus here, here today, or global business. So it should be a great episode. Uh, so Kevin, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we should add that today’s episode is presented by our good friends at Microsoft. We’re gonna be touching on some of the really big things that they’re doing in, in industry. Yeah. Including the world manufacturing a little later on. Absolutely. So, Kevin, are you ready to introduce our guests here today?
Kevin L. Jackson (01:42):
Scott Luton (01:44):
Well, I am too. And so, with no further ado, I wanna welcome in our two featured guests, Karen Braxton, vice President with Technician Cybersecurity, llc. Karen, how you doing?
Karen Braxton (01:56):
I’m well, thank you. How are you, Scott and Kevin? Wonderful.
Scott Luton (01:58):
Great to have you.
Karen Braxton (01:59):
Thanks for having And
Scott Luton (02:01):
You bet. And you’re joined by Bruce Spector, chairman of the board with Baltimore Cyber Range llc. Bruce, how you doing?
Bruce Spector (02:09):
Great. Very well. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for
Scott Luton (02:11):
Having us. You bet. Really enjoyed,
Kevin L. Jackson (02:14):
Scott Luton (02:15):
Kevin, what were you saying?
Kevin L. Jackson (02:16):
Yeah, I, uh, got an opportunity to visit the, uh, Baltimore Cyber range, uh, a while ago. And they have actually improved since I did, but they were really impressive. Um, I mean, they were so good that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia asked me to go evaluate them as a benchmark for their national cyber security standards.
Scott Luton (02:40):
Wow. Bruce, that is some high praise, huh?
Bruce Spector (02:44):
It sure is. And, uh, I, I remember that. And, um, the, uh, it’s very, very exciting for us.
Scott Luton (02:52):
Well, we’re gonna learn a lot more about both your organization and techno gen and what Karen’s been up to here momentarily. But hey, Kevin and Karen and Bruce, before we do that, uh, in great tradition we’ve had here at Supply Chain now, uh, and digital Transformers with the award-winning podcast, uh, Kevin has been leading. We like to get to know our guests a little better, and we like to start with this very simple question of where you grew up. Uh, so you gotta give us the goods on your upbringing. And Karen, I wanna start with you. So tell us where, where did you grow
Karen Braxton (03:19):
Up? I grew up in Carroll County, Maryland. Little small town called Westminster. Most people haven’t heard of unless you’re local, um, in the country. <laugh>. Um, and went to, um, schools out there very close to Pennsylvania. Actually. You could go out through our, uh, front yard across the mailbox, and b n pa, couple of steps through the woods.
Scott Luton (03:42):
Karen Braxton (03:44):
Okay. It’s right there on the Mason Dixon.
Scott Luton (03:45):
Okay. So let me ask you this, cuz you know, we love talking food here at Supply chain and Kevin Love talking all the time. Sometimes we get to business. But what is one food dish growing up there in Westminster that’s inseparable from your, your upbringing?
Karen Braxton (04:02):
My macaroni and cheese. My mom is macaroni cheese
Scott Luton (04:05):
<laugh>. Wonderful. And you know, folks, uh, y’all, our listeners didn’t have the, uh, great opportunity to be a part of our pre-show conversation, but as we learned from Karen that Mac and Cheese she just spoke of, she is, she’s legendary in her family now for d uh, uh, cooking that and many other dishes, uh, uh, at holidays and cookouts, you name it. So Karen, thank you for sharing. I appreciate that.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:26):
I’m sure she probably still has, uh, but maybe not. I’m sure she like, put together a huge pot for Thanksgiving. It probably was all gone before No, I did before midnight <laugh>.
Scott Luton (04:39):
All right. No, fair. You can’t make us hungry now. This is not, it’s not fair. Still around midday here in the metro Atlanta area. Um, alright, so Bruce, that’s gonna be tough to talk, but what about you? Where’d you grow up?
Bruce Spector (04:51):
So, I was born in Baltimore. I went to grade school in Baltimore, high school in Baltimore, college of Baltimore. Raised my kids in Baltimore. And as John Mellencamp would say, they’ll probably bury me in
Scott Luton (05:03):
Baltimore, <laugh> <laugh>.
Bruce Spector (05:06):
And there’s only one thing worse than somebody born in Baltimore is somebody that likes being from Baltimore because they praise it. And I gotta tell you, it’s a wonderful city. Yeah. Wonderful.
Scott Luton (05:14):
Well, so let me ask you then, um, you know, Kevin and I are both big sports fans. We’re talking a little sports pre-show sports and food
Kevin L. Jackson (05:22):
Scott Luton (05:22):
Way. And of course, who
Kevin L. Jackson (05:23):
Beat the Falcons this weekend? Who beat the Falcons this weekend? I’m
Scott Luton (05:29):
Just saying, Kevin, that’s a long list. That’s a long list of who beat the Falcons this season. So, you know, commanders <laugh>, yes. Kevin’s, Washington Commanders did, uh, did beat, uh, the Atlanta Falcons. But let’s talk, what, what is your favorite, um, sports team, uh, growing up, Bruce? What was one team or, or a sport? So,
Bruce Spector (05:50):
That’s a great question. And I really don’t wanna show my age <laugh>, right? But I am a Ravens fan through and through. But I used used to root for two teams. I would root for the Ravens or anybody that was playing the Indianapolis Cult <laugh> because the Indianapolis Cults should be the Baltimore Cols. Right. But other than that, uh, I’m a Ravens fan through and through.
Kevin L. Jackson (06:10):
Yeah. When they snuck out the, the city and buses at midnight, the Cols, the Golden.
Karen Braxton (06:14):
Everybody remembers that.
Bruce Spector (06:17):
I remember the, the, uh, may, the Mayflower vans pulled up in the middle of the night when they promised the mayor never Were gonna keep us here. So I, I, I dunno, we’re gonna have, I got a bad feeling towards those guys,
Scott Luton (06:28):
Bruce and Kevin and Karen. We’re gonna have to dedicate a whole series to that story. Cause that’s really a fascinating, uh, saga back in the day. Um, well, hey, Karen and Bruce, I’m so pleased to have you here. Um, Kevin mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, quick comment from you, uh, you know, west Minister and Baltimore proper. Uh, you know, Kevin, you’re in a greater neck of the woods. Any comments on Karen and Bruce’s upbringing?
Kevin L. Jackson (06:53):
Well, you know, both my parents were born and raised in Baltimore, so my extended family is all around there. And I just, uh, just a little inside, uh, bit of knowledge. Karen is actually my cousin
Bruce Spector (07:07):
<laugh>. Really? Again, so that’s, that’s a prime example. It’s, it’s not Baltimore. It’s small <laugh>. It’s small town. It’s a small, big town. Everybody, everybody else, you know, really. It’s great.
Scott Luton (07:20):
I’m a still
Bruce Spector (07:21):
Karen Braxton (07:21):
I’m Tim away from Kevin’s dad.
Scott Luton (07:23):
Really? Yeah. Yeah. Well, blessed be the ties that bond, uh, number one. But number two, Kevin, you’ve done this to me twice now. We had a guest, um, uh, uh, a, um, a veteran Avi right. With the Marines. And Kevin was messing around and, and, uh, was calling her, uh, cousin. And I thought that he was just like, messing around. And he, and during the show, he is like, really? Scott? I told you she’s my cousin. She’s my cousin. And we had a nice little moment there. But, uh, anyway, well, uh, again, great to have y’all. Let’s, let’s kind of shift gears here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and let’s talk about you, what you and your organizations are doing. And Karen, I’ll start with you. Tell us about techno gen and what the company does and, and your role.
Karen Braxton (08:06):
Okay. Uh, Tecogen Cyber, we provide cybersecurity services. Um, we also have, uh, lms, uh, part of that part of the company is Tecogen Academy, where we do cyber training. And, um, we’re gonna be actually working with Baltimore Cyber Range, um, next year on a project providing, um, training, incumbent training. Uh, the other part of Tecogen is staffing. We do staff o um, and not just for it. Um, but right now we’re actually even helping out, uh, a college, um, located in Laurel, one of the cyber schools. That’s our partner. And we’re gonna be doing some, um, recruiting for them as well. Uh, techno gen,
Scott Luton (08:46):
But the man is just off the chart. Karen.
Karen Braxton (08:49):
Scott Luton (08:49):
<laugh> for the, for all things technical talent. Right.
Karen Braxton (08:52):
How about that? Um, we’re a wholly own own subsidiary of Tecogen Inc. Tecogen Sideways, um, incepted in 2009. Uh, we are also, um, building out, uh, zero trust model. We’re excited. Um, we’re working with one of our board members, Dr. Ron Martin, um, who’s also affiliated with the university. So we’re partnered with them, um, and gonna be doing some, uh, lab work as well in the cyber facility there. Um, te Newgen also is, um, wow, what, what word do I want to use? Um, <laugh>, let’s just say we’re, we’re gonna be in the EDU space, um, soon, and we’ll be making an announcement, um, on the website about that as well,
Bruce Spector (09:42):
Karen Braxton (09:42):
Scott Luton (09:44):
It, it, I love how you’re touching all sounds like so many different aspects of, of the technology ecosystem. Uh, Kevin, you’re quick comment on techno gen and what Karen and Sharon,
Kevin L. Jackson (09:55):
Well actually, techno gen, uh, and Baltimore cyber are, are really important in the, the cyber security ecosystem of, for the state of Maryland. I’m, I’m sure we’re gonna get into a lot of that, but that’s why they, you know, they seem to be sort of doing everything and the middle of everything is because they’re so important to the ecosystem.
Scott Luton (10:19):
It’s like the, the mayors, the mayors of the <laugh> Cybersecurity Nation. I dunno. Um, alright. So Bruce, um, let’s talk about Baltimore cyber beyond, you know, some of the cool things that Kevin shared on the front end. Tell us about what the organization does and what you do.
Bruce Spector (10:35):
So, uh, Baltimore Cyber, we were, we started, we were a bunch of, uh, electrical engineers and computer scientists from Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland, both Baltimore educational facilities. And, um, we actually accompanied, uh, governor Hogan on his trade mission Israel back in 2016. And it was an economic development mission. And, uh, the Israelis see a lot of cyber threats in that part of the world. They’ve got, you know, the, the hostilities there in the Middle East, but you know, Iran and Syria and, and Jordan and that general vicinity. But what they do is they actually store the threats. They receive, they catalog ’em, they library them, and they create what they call an attack generator. They then take that data and they run it against a simulator network, and they use it as an instructional tool to teach their cyber warriors how to deal with the threats that are, uh, current, uh, current threats.
Bruce Spector (11:30):
So the governor had this idea that, you know, that’s great for cyber warriors, but I’m sure we’re doing good stuff in the United States. But why don’t we take this device, this system, and put it in Baltimore, and let’s do workforce development. There’s over, uh, 25,000 unfilled positions in Maryland that if people were trained properly, they could be walk into positions currently. And then that, that’s an order of magnitude hire. If they, they have government clearances, because the majority of Ryan share the cybersecurity stuff that’s hot right now requires government clearances. So, uh, we put the range in Baltimore and we trained in the last five years, we trained about a thousand people that were not cybersecurity types. And we got about 950 of those full time positions in cyber. And, uh, the reason we were able to do that was, it was a unique training session, but we also formed a consortium of cyber companies that had the requirements. And, uh, they gave us the materials that we needed to, to do the training. They, to us, the threats that we were gonna use to put them on the range. And that’s how we applied it to the, to workforce development.
Scott Luton (12:34):
Man, I love that. Even in this, uh, highly technological and ever evolving innovative world man workforce is where it’s at. So I love that story and that element, uh, Kevin, your quick comment on, uh, what Bruce just shared,
Kevin L. Jackson (12:47):
There’s just a huge shortage of cyber security professionals, um, global, globally, um, not just in Maryland, but in the nationally United States and, and globally. So, um, Baltimore cyber, uh, is, is really, uh, filling a critical niche for our entire society as we transition to the internet of things. I mean, our society is built on the internet and security of our devices, of our network, our computers, our smartphone, uh, this, this is, this is our life, right? So, uh, uh, thank you. Um, thank you for everything you’re doing, Bruce.
Scott Luton (13:30):
Definitely. I appreciate that, Bruce and Karen. And now that we’ve kind level set, we’ve kind of level set with, um, who our guests are, one my favorite parts, and then what they’re doing professionally and the impact they’re making. Uh, and we’re gonna about to get some of their expertise on, again, uh, the top five priorities that manufacturing leaders really need to prepare for when it comes to cyber security for 2023. But before we get there, Kevin, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, I, I, I think you and the research department have been diving into some important market facts. Tell us more, especially when it comes to, you know, Maryland and manufacturing and cyber.
Kevin L. Jackson (14:04):
You know, when you say manufacturing, you, many people probably don’t think Maryland, right? It’s a small state, you know, it’s over overshadowed by it’s, uh, proximity to the, the nation’s capital. But, uh, manufacturers in Maryland account for over, for almost 6% of the total output of the state in employees, about over 4% of the workforce. So you can see, uh, manufacturing is important. In 2019, there was almost 25 billion in manufacturing output, uh, from the state. Uh, the state averages about 110,000 manufacturing employees, and they each make, uh, $91,000 each. So, uh, I’ll take that job. Uh, <laugh>, you know, in Maryland’s economy, um, there’s like $10.3 billion in manufacturing goods that are actually exported in, in 2020. Um, and 3 billion of that goes to, uh, free trade agreement partners. These are countries that have partnered with the United States, um, and it helps create like 13%, 13% of the state’s MP employ employment is from exports.
Kevin L. Jackson (15:43):
Uh, and small businesses comprise 88% of all exporters in Maryland. So this is not about big business, it’s about small business. And those partners, um, and I’m talking about countries like Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Morocco, Singapore, South Korea, they, they did almost $660 billion in manufactured goods alone. And, and, and I know that we’re gonna be talking a lot about cyber security, but from a cyber security point of view, Maryland ranked number one in the cyber state’s diversity index. Number two in cyber security technology and innovation. It ranks number one in federal obligations. And I’m talking about money for cyber security research and development. And it’s ranked as a top 10 global cyber security hub. And don’t forget the National Security Agency, one of those three letter agencies, the NSA is located in Fort Mead, Maryland, just south of Baltimore, and just north of the nation’s capital in Washington, dc. So if you wanna beat a hub of cybersecurity, Maryland is where it’s at.
Scott Luton (17:13):
<laugh>, I love that. I, I feel like, I feel like I’ve just earned a certification in all things Maryland last 34 minutes. <laugh>. Thank you, Kevin. But Karen
Karen Braxton (17:22):
Facts, Kevin, thank
Scott Luton (17:22):
You. Yeah, it really is. I mean, uh, the mecca in so many different ways of, of cyber and technology and, and with a big ole helping of manufacturing. Karen, from what care, uh, Kevin just shared there, what thought comes to mind?
Karen Braxton (17:36):
Well, like I just said, it was a great, um, facts that he had brought forth, and the numbers are mind boggling. Um, but yes, we are definitely the cyber hub, um, here, which is why we’re gonna be, um, instrumental in helping to train up, um, a lot of the state employees in cyber and the incumbents.
Scott Luton (17:57):
Uh, so well said. And, you know, it’s only gonna get the cyber threat, as y’all know, speaking to the experts here. All three of y’all is only gonna get more complex and more, uh, um, uh, a lot more tax. I mean, every business, regardless if you’re in supply chain or, or else, uh, is gonna be a, uh, big, uh, concern, big priority to tackle. Um, Bruce, what about you, Kevin? Just shared a ton of, of market data, your thought.
Bruce Spector (18:19):
Yeah, so I think Kevin’s obviously got the numbers and he understands the, uh, what we call the cyber security ecosystem in Maryland. Um, one of the things that, uh, strikes me and, uh, some of my colleagues, uh, as not obvious is that when you look at these, um, opportunities and these people that are working not only in, uh, supply side, but in IT and in Maryland, there’s over 800,000 IT employees. Um, people lose sight of the fact that if you have that cybersecurity is an esoteric subset of it, you need to be an expert in IT before you can really attack a cyber issue. It, it’s like being a doctor. You have to be a doctor before you can be a cardiologist. So it’s especially within, and that’s one of the reasons that, uh, there is so much need for cybersecurity training. You need to understand, you know, there’s so many different IT students out there, and there’s so many, there’s so much doing in new technologies and new ways of approaching.
Bruce Spector (19:28):
I mean, look, you take a, uh, uh, an IT system, you take something like a microprocessor, which I’m sure most of your people know, it’s basically the building block of a, of a network or an IT device that offers tremendous automation and tremendous, uh, uh, progress. However, there’s a dark side that I, that microprocessor can be compromised. You can be bad guys can get ahold of it and take over your system. That is the issue with cybersecurity. There are more and more microprocessors going into these things. You know, your things that were never microprocessor based. Uh, your home heating, your thermostat, your car, your tv, I mean, things that you need that you need to live with. You know, some of your, some of your medical delivery systems are all micro pro based. These things are all, uh, very, very, um, uh, uh, susceptible to bad guys hacking in. And if there’s a money profit, it’s, you know, they said it’s, you know, why do you rob banks? Cause it’s where the money is. Yeah. You can find a way if you can find a way to get these systems, you find a way to make money.
Kevin L. Jackson (20:30):
I think the word you evidently,
Scott Luton (20:32):
Kevin L. Jackson (20:32):
They say is vulnerability. The vulnerability of all these systems.
Bruce Spector (20:37):
That’s right. What they’re probing and probing and they’re looking
Kevin L. Jackson (20:40):
At Yeah. What doesn’t have a microprocessor in it.
Scott Luton (20:43):
Right. Well, as Bruce was sharing that, Kevin, uh, the first thought, one of the first thoughts come to my mind is that dual side, you know, that, that, uh, uh, both sides of the sword when it comes to, you know, innovative and highly powerful. Yeah. More ever more powerful technology, any bad act, you know, any, any great tools and bad actors’ hands can unfortunately do a lot of damage so that all them will reason to get into some of these priorities we’re gonna be talking about when it comes to cyber. But hey, uh, Kevin and Bruce and Karen, before we get into kind of the, the center plate part of our conversation, I wanna share, I think as, as, uh, four of us spoke about pre-show, you know, Gartner research has once again reported that, uh, CIO’s plan to make cyber security their top investment priority in 2023, beating out spending on things like business intelligence and analytics, and even, sorry, sorry, Kevin <laugh>, even cloud computing platforms, right to my heart.
Scott Luton (21:38):
But, um, uh, as Bruce and Kevin and Karen spoke to pre-show, you know, that’s what they’re saying. We’ll see if the time and the money comes with it. But Leslie Salman, uh, had a great quote, uh, in the Wall Street Journal not too long ago. She’s a global Chief Information Officer for Kellogg, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she was quoted as saying, if I get a bud, uh, if I get a bud a budget challenge, it doesn’t come out of cyber <laugh>. So we’ll see, uh, in, in a new year. Okay. So with that backdrop, um, let’s dive into some of the cybersecurity priorities. The top five, we’ll call it, uh, cybersecurity priorities for manufacturing leaders as we head into 2023. So Karen, let’s start with you. What are two priorities that manufacturing leaders really should be considering?
Karen Braxton (22:27):
Uh, I believe number one, um, first one should be the manufacturing systems. They need to take a look and have a holistic approach to cyber security, right? They’re not doing that now across the board. And number two, I believe they need to establish and enforce policies and procedures. Um, you know, we got standards, you have compliance, you have regulatory, um, you know, items. So I think once that stuff’s done and it’s done across the board through academia, government, um, they should consider this should be considering. If they’re not,
Kevin L. Jackson (23:03):
You know, I’m really,
Scott Luton (23:04):
So number one,
Kevin L. Jackson (23:05):
I’m really happy that can start off with those two items because, because all too often cyber security has been a bolt on, right? It’s something you do after you finish everything else. Um, and you can’t take a holistic approach unless you think about how cyber security is linked to everything else. And then these organizations, yeah, must put in policies and procedures, but more important in putting in the procedures they have to enforce those procedures. I mean, too much lip service into what we should do.
Scott Luton (23:47):
Yeah. We can’t, no, we enough lip service leadership, right? It’s all about deeds, not words. Yeah.
Karen Braxton (23:53):
Good. Good point, Kevin. A lot of, um, they’re even doing that with, um, some of the smaller, um, subsets in the government where, you know, they’re saying that they’re gonna have their budgets set aside, um, to improve the security measures and do different things for risk assessments and risk management, but it seems like it’s not getting done. Um, the hackers are still getting through <laugh>.
Scott Luton (24:15):
Yeah. Well, so Bruce, uh, with those first two priorities that Karen mentioned, you know, more holistic approach and, and establishing and enforcing, um, your thoughts, Bruce.
Bruce Spector (24:25):
So, yeah, let me, lemme take them sequentially. Let’s talk about holistic. Let’s, let’s explain what holistic really means in the cyber world. Um, in the, from a hundred thousand feet, it’s a lot better to design cyber security systems in from the start than to retrofit. So if you’re gonna put a system in a new network, you should be thinking about how you’re going to address cybersecurity. How are you going to mitigate, how are you gonna detect, how are you gonna remediate? How are you gonna do the things that cyber people need to do to that system? And that starts with making sure your software guys are, uh, aware of the issues, making sure your hardware guys are, making sure your operators are aware, making sure you have plans and systems in place. And it takes a, um, uh, a a unique understanding of your security profile, what you have and what you need.
Bruce Spector (25:21):
And that takes time. And you need to have your systems assess as to what your vulnerabilities are. And that’s what I think we mean by being holistic. And, and I couldn’t agree more with Karen. I think that’s probably, if I were in the supply side right now, that’s the thing I would be most worried about. Uh, but if in 2023 you’re gonna start to see something else, and this talks to the second topic, you’re gonna see the US government get a lot more involved in the regulatory side of cyber because the government’s starting to realize some of the issues. I mean, look at Colonial pipeline. You know, you had gas lines because, uh, you had a, you had a breach in cyber that was completely preventable. Completely preventable. And we’ll talk about that in a little, little while. But if you look at what the government’s gonna do, um, I know Baltimore Cyber currently, we actually, um, uh, provide the proficiency testing for government assessors to assure that the clouds are safe for government data.
Bruce Spector (26:24):
So if you’re an assessor, and you’re gonna determine whether Amazon Web servicers or Microsoft Resort or any of the major cloud systems can hold government data, they have to be assessed by the government to meet certain minimum requirements. These requirements are dictated by NIST and National Institute Standards. So, um, that requirement, um, is just for clouds. Now, that’s relatively small set subset of the IT world. Now there’s this new board that’s come out that, if I were in the supply side, I would wanna know about this. It’s called cmc. It’s a cybersecurity maturation model certification. What cmmc is going to do is by 2025, if you are a US government, d o D contractor making anything, be it, you know, guns, butter, or IT systems, you’re gonna have to be deemed that you know what you’re doing in cyber, where you will not be able to get a government contract.
Bruce Spector (27:23):
Now, if you are an executive in the supply side or supply chain, I think it behooves you to understand what that is, and it’s gonna cost you money, and you’re gonna have to spend some time under getting your staff trained. But it’s something that’s gonna be necessary for you to do business. And if you don’t pay attention to that, it’s gonna be very, very expensive down the road because you’re gonna be frozen out of opportunities that you won’t be able to bid because you’re not gonna be qualified to go after that work. So that’s where I think is a, it’s a very major thing. If I were a on the supply side, I wouldn’t look at that as closely as possible.
Scott Luton (27:54):
Bruce has a great call out now, cmm, CMMC CMS is something, yeah. Um, Allison Giddens, one of our hosts here at Supply Chain now has spoken a lot about and involved in kind of the community that’s proliferating that, um, you know, cause to your point, if you’re making parts for, um, uh, F 22 s for the Air Force, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we gotta secure the supply chains, right?
Bruce Spector (28:17):
Would you want to back, would you want somebody like, like a rogue nation to get ahold of our nuclear weapons? I mean, of course you don’t. I mean, right? And, and that you have to have some minimum level of standard right now. It’s the law west, right? I mean, there really aren’t many standards that are being enforced. I, I, my my hat’s off to the US government. It’s about time we did something like this. And I think the, the world needs to do more of this internationally because there’s a lot of bad things that can happen with cyber. And we’ve only, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. Yeah, absolutely.
Kevin L. Jackson (28:47):
The tip, and this isn’t like, so Kevin,
Scott Luton (28:49):
Get you way in here before we, we
Kevin L. Jackson (28:51):
Continue, yeah. This isn’t philosophical, right? Um, they built the F 22 and found out after they were building that they were actually Chinese components in it. And I’m sure you’ve heard about Huawei and in fact, that many, uh, of our rural telecommunications infrastructure, uh, use Huawei equipment. And one of the biggest, uh, I guess, concerns is that the equipment has cybersecurity back doors in it, which has led the US federal government to actually fund a, a rip out and replace of all wild way gear, uh, in the United States. And this is because of cyber security concerns.
Bruce Spector (29:42):
And, and that’s, that’s a sophisticated threat. And, and I think that’s a good example of what, you know, regulatory bodies could do to help by making sure these back doors don’t exist. But it’s even more basic than that. And I keep going back to Colonial Pipeline cuz this is not classified and it’s open and there’s data, you know, uh, the bad guys shut down Colonial Pipeline for months. And the reason it was determined that the systems were shut down was because a live set of credentials were available on the dark web. Now that is beyond belief that an organization like Colonial Pipeline could be shut down because somebody bought a, uh, a username and a password and was able to get into the slips and introduce ransomware. That, that, that, and that’s, that, that’s the kind of thing that regulatory regulatory operations like CMC and things along those lines can stop because CNC says, look, you need to make sure that these credentials are controlled. They have conditions that are actually documented in doc in, uh, paperwork that you assign and agree to do. That’s kind of the direction we’re going in. And if I were an executive in the supply site, I would’ve would want to be looking at that very closely.
Scott Luton (30:54):
All right, so let me let jump in here. So a lot of great discussion, and I love the passion and the expertise between all three of y’all. Uh, so Karen laid out the first two priorities, right? The first one being, all new manufacturing systems need to take that holistic approach to cyber. And the number two need to establish and enforce policies and procedures. Bruce, I wanna keep driving with your two priorities as we, as we continue to build out this top five list.
Bruce Spector (31:18):
So, yeah, I think, um, I think that there, and this almost sounds trivial to state, but you need to be aware of the threats that exist in your industry. Um, every organization has a security profile. It’s very unlikely that if you’re making popcorn, that the Russians are gonna be interested in what you’re doing. So you don’t, and so you probably don’t need to get to the level of a, um, uh, you know, of a security profile that you would have if you were handling top secret or classified data. But by the same token, it’s possible that there’s a, uh, you know, if somebody around the corner knows you guys are making money, and maybe if I, if we didn’t let you get to your records, maybe you’ll be giving some of that money. So you wanna make sure you understand how those threats operate. It’s interest.
Bruce Spector (32:09):
An interesting comment for, for our viewers, you know, there’s about 8,500 known cyber threats. Uh, they live in a database, it’s called the Melo database. And, and we know what they are. And somewhere close to 95% of all instances of cyber are repeat defenses. They’re not what we call zero day. Zero day is stuff that’s new. It’s never happened before. Zero day stuff tends to be from nation states. So it’s unlike a small guy is gonna be hit by his a zero zero, um, zero day threat, but it’s very likely that he’ll be hit with something that’s known. So if you know the threats that are out there and you build the defenses to deal with it, and you have a plan to remediate and detect that you’re like, you’re not gonna be, you most likely will not be a victim. So those are the things I would say.
Bruce Spector (33:00):
I I, I think that the, the executives and the people that are running these supply side organizations could really look at what their threats are, what their security profile is, and what, what’s a good tack to address that, that threat. Yeah. So, um, I think the other thing we talked about was an actual plan to detect, mitigate, and remediate. Uh, I, I throw those words out very quickly because cyber people, that’s what we do. We detect, we mitigate and remediate threats at the end of the day that we’re all part of that function. And you as a, a, a business entity or a manufacturing entity or a supply side entity need to have some way of doing that. And it’s not that difficult. Uh, there are professionals out there that can help you. There’s risk assessors, uh, they can do gap analysis. Uh, you should look at that and you should come up with some way to do that. It, it, it’s quite possible. And I’m, I’m pretty sure it’s coming that over the next few years you’re gonna be required to do that, to be in business. So, uh, if you can get a jump start on that, you, you’ll be helping get yourself ready for the future, and you’ll make yourself safer.
Scott Luton (34:11):
All right. So Bruce, uh, you shared really, and of our top five list items, number three and four. Number three, manufacturers need to understand their cyber security profile, current standards and regulatory requirements. And number four, folks, you gotta be aware of the threats that not only exist in your industry, but you also have to have a plan to detect, mitigate, and remediate all cyber threats. Right? Right. So before we get to number five, Kevin mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I wanna get, uh, Karen and you a chance to weigh in. So, Karen, that’s, that is, man, I’ve got, by my count, we’ve got seven full plates of things we’ve gotta do already. Karen, weigh in
Karen Braxton (34:49):
<laugh>, how about that? Yeah. Uh, good, good points. Um, Bruce, and I think too, um, a lot of the manufacturers that are out there, um, you know, we were talking about policy and compliance and um, you know, we have nist, um, that’s there, we have got csa, um, cloud Security Alliance. Um, and Bruce had mentioned about cmm, uh, cmmc, I think two point ohs coming out, um, next year. At any rate, um, overall, yeah, I think if, if the businesses, um, understand their profile, understand their infrastructure and protect it, um, you know, can you imagine if everyone had a sock? Okay. Or we all, uh, you know, implemented, um, zero trust software, um, you know, not allowing anybody in. Bruce was talking about the, um, pipeline, the Columbia, uh, pipeline and, you know, had they had some other type of, um, identity credentials, uh, multi-factored, maybe three or four, um, ways to log in. Um, even if the credentials were found on the dark web, um, you know, possibly they wouldn’t have been hacked, um, because the person wouldn’t have been able to get in if they didn’t have a fingerprint or an iris scan or something like that. So, yeah.
Scott Luton (36:09):
Okay. Thank you. Great. Yeah, definitely good stuff there. Uh, Karen, I’m gonna have to go to the, the source and look up all these acronyms after today’s show. Cause they’re bringing
Karen Braxton (36:18):
It. I know I do that
Scott Luton (36:19):
<laugh>. No, no, no, it’s good. You know, being a veteran and being in supply chain, hey, we love our acronym, so I really appreciate it. Just, just having a little fun <laugh>. Um, okay, so Kevin, yeah, before you get to number five, weigh in on what Bruce really was sharing with, uh, number three and four there.
Kevin L. Jackson (36:35):
Well, one thing Bruce talked about was a cyber security profile. Um, and it, I mean, that’s very important and it’s very critical, but we also have to remember that a lot of this is new. Um, think about social media. How does your organization view social media? Is it a cybersecurity threat? Well, when you think about the fact that TikTok is owned by Chinese and that there are, uh, fears that TikTok is collecting personal information that’s being sent to Beijing, uh, could that be a problem for your company? So it’s not a, it’s not a narrow or esoteric thing, right? Everyone is using social media. How does that fit into your cyber security plans? What is the threat to your organization? How do you remediate the cybersecurity threat from social media?
Scott Luton (37:47):
Yeah, great point there. And, and, uh, just a little play a little play on what Bruce said earlier. Uh, he talked about if you ask bank Kros, why’d you rob the bank? That’s where the money is. <laugh>. Well, you can ask hackers, why’d you take that personal data? Cause that’s where the money is. To your point, Kevin. Yeah, they’ll play this. You can, cause you can, yeah, I’ll get, I’ll, you’ll get some, some bonuses on that IP usage there, Bruce. I’m gonna get miles and miles outta that. Okay. So Kevin, we’re building a very healthy top five list of, of cybersecurity priorities that manufacturing leaders in particular need to take into consideration for 2023. Bring, you’re the home run hitter to bring in number five here.
Kevin L. Jackson (38:25):
Well, and remember focusing on what the company needs to do for itself, how to protect itself, uh, what its own regulations, its own policies. Uh, but these organizations are doing business and they don’t do business alone. They have partners that they work with. They also are selling products and services to customers, uh, and maybe other companies. So from a cyber security point of view, you are operating in an ecosystem also that parallels your business ecosystem. So I think number five is protect your cyber security ecosystem. Know the, the policies and plans of your partners because that is a gateway to your network.
Scott Luton (39:26):
Mm. Well said Kevin. I love that. Protecting that digital ecosystem. Uh, Karen, your thoughts on, on uh, uh, the fifth priority there?
Karen Braxton (39:36):
Very important, very important, Kevin. Um, you know, as we were talking about the ecosystem, um, and you do have to know it. You have to understand it or otherwise you aren’t gonna be able to protect your data, right? So I think, um, businesses and industry as well, um, need to really hone in on that.
Scott Luton (39:57):
Yeah, great point. We need a, we need a, a digital version of Captain Planet for the dig digital ecosystem, perhaps. I dunno, um, <laugh>, Bruce, your thoughts on, on,
Bruce Spector (40:07):
Yeah, I mean, I could not agree more. And, and I think it, it was very astute, Kevin, to point that out. And, and I think a natural derivative of that is that you have phenomenal teamwork between primes and subs and sub subs, and you certainly as a subcontractor, don’t wanna bring you a prime down because you screwed it up on a cyber basis. So I think you’re gonna find that there’s gonna be a lot of, not only having to have that, but you’re gonna, it’s gonna be required by your customer. If you’re a subcontractor and you’ve gotta meet a certain standard to, to meet cyber requirements, he’s not gonna do business with you unless he knows you’re not gonna cause problems. So I think it all works in the same thing.
Scott Luton (40:47):
Well said Bruce. Uh, appreciate that. Uh, and Bruce and Karen, don’t go anywhere. We’re gonna find out, we’re gonna make sure our listeners know how to connect with you both here, uh, as we start to wrap up today’s episode. Now, Kevin, before we do that, uh, of course, today’s episode’s presented in partnership with our friends at Microsoft, who’s been up to some really cool things in the industry here lately, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (41:07):
Right, right. Absolutely. And when you’re talking about manufacturing, um, and technology, there’s like, there’s actually two sides of the house. You have information technology or IT, and operational technology or ot. And historically they’ve never talked to one another <laugh>. They’ve, they’ve stayed on both sides of the house with a big wall between them. Um, and that’s great if you want to get hacked, if you want to get attacked if you’re not interested in protecting your cyber security. And that’s why Microsoft is really focused on strengthening i e and OT security for manufacturer in order to prevent plant downtime. Uh, they now offer agentless IT and OT security monitoring with Azure Defender. Um, this is really tightly integrated with the Sentinel, which is the cloud based security solution that provides SIM or security information in event management and SOAR the security orchestration and automated, uh, response services, uh, in the Azure public Cloud.
Kevin L. Jackson (42:30):
That combination really provides a single solution for alert detection, threat visibility, and proactive hunting and threat response. Uh, and based on the anomaly detection, uh, technology that was acquired via a Cyber X, the solution has been deployed in some of the world’s largest in most diverse industrial environments, including global 2000 firms in manufacturing chemicals and pharmaceutical. It, it secures Greenfield as well as Brown Field as, and proprietary IT and OT devices, including those that may run older versions of Windows, uh, that can’t be easily upgraded. It can also be deployed either on premise or in the cloud. So Microsoft is really doing a lot in this area.
Scott Luton (43:32):
Agreed. Of course, recently they launched, uh, the announce the launch of Microsoft Supply Chain Center. Yes. Which is piloted by some of the most well recognized companies including, uh, Kraft Heines North America, which has been using it, uh, to increase organizational agility amongst other things. So, uh, good stuff there. Thank you for sharing, uh, and big thanks to our friends at Microsoft. Um, okay, so Karen and Bruce, I, I have learned a ton from both of y’all and I’ve really enjoyed, I wish we could publish a pre-show as a podcast <laugh>, and then of course, this whole episode, but we’ll save that for later. Um, Karen, how can folks, you know, connect with you and the team at Techno Gen?
Karen Braxton (44:10):
Well, we have a LinkedIn page. They can reach me on LinkedIn, um, just by searching my name. And we also have a, uh, company page as well on LinkedIn. Um, and the ur we have a website, of course. Um, the academy is, um, there too. There’s a link to that site and it’s www.technogencyber.com, the website.
Scott Luton (44:36):
It’s just that easy. And of course we’ll include those links in the episode page, so our listeners will be just one click away. Uh, Karen Braxton really have enjoyed your perspective here today. Uh, Bruce, how can folks connect with you and the Baltimore Cyber range?
Bruce Spector (44:50):
Nope, and we also, uh, are heavily on LinkedIn. Uh, you can certainly look up me v Spec or the Baltimore Cyber Range page. Uh, and we have a fairly extensive website. It’s www.baltimorecyberrange.com. And, um, most of our programs are available, uh, to, uh, at no cost. Uh, we do it as a public service or a state contractor. So we would love to have, uh, your feedback. We’d love to get you involved and we could get you more information on what we do if you’re interested.
Scott Luton (45:20):
Wonderful. Well, uh, thank you Bruce, and big congrats to both you and care and your respective organizations for the growth and, and all the success you’re having and the difference you’re making, uh, in, in light as we, as we continue going down the road to this, this exciting digital era, warts and all, uh, preparing industry for that. Um, okay, so before we wrap here, Kevin mm-hmm. <affirmative>, speaking of, uh, growth and success, love what you’ve been doing amongst, amongst other things, but especially with Digital Transformers. So Kevin, how can folks, you know, lean into that and, and, and uh, connect with you?
Kevin L. Jackson (45:52):
Well, actually what you can do is listen to our most recent show that was just dropped, uh, yesterday. Uh, and its title is State Government and Cyber Security. Haha. Like we planned it. Uh, I actually had the opportunity to interview, uh, Mr. Tric Mosley Romero, and she’s a director of the Indiana Security Council. So they’re really attacking all of the cyber security concerns for the state of Indiana. I tell you, Indiana and Maryland need to, need to get together. So that’s, uh, how about that? You can download that on, uh, from your favorite podcast, uh, uh, channel, or you can go to Supply chain now in cybersecurity, and you can always check me out on LinkedIn.
Scott Luton (46:46):
That’s right. Uh, you don’t wanna miss that. Uh, three Power Heavy Hitters here. Great discussion here as we’re talking about the five top priorities, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, that manufacturing leaders gotta gotta take into considerations to move into 2023. So big thanks to Karen Braxton, vice President with Techno Gen Cybersecurity. Karen, thanks so much for carving out the time.
Karen Braxton (47:07):
And I wanna thank you Scott and Kevin, and thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring the show.
Scott Luton (47:12):
That’s right. Uh, Bruce Specter, chairman of the board with the Baltimore Cyber Range. Bruce, really enjoyed your perspective as well.
Bruce Spector (47:19):
Thank you for having me and keep up the good work. You guys do a great job.
Scott Luton (47:23):
Thank you so much, Bruce. And we’ll be thinking, hey, hey, small more. I’m gonna steal that from you, Karen, as well. Well, really enjoyed that. That’s
Not copyright. So
Scott Luton (47:31):
Feel free to use any way you like <laugh>. Okay. Kevin L. Jackson, the one that only hosts Digital Transformers. Thank you, sir, so much, much more. Kevin, always a pleasure. Thank you to knock out these conversations with you. Thank you. Thank you very much, guys. All right, so big thing, sorry, guest. Uh, hey, but listeners, it’s all about d not words. You gotta take action with these ex, these expert insights and perspective, uh, as we get ready for the new year. But hey, regardless, hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did. Uh, as we sign off here, Scott Luden challenged you. Hey, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. With that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here at Apache now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.
Karen Braxton was educated in Carroll Co. Public Schools, attended community colleges and is a certified grant writer. She was the owner of a small business consulting firm and a preschool teacher for 8 years. She contracted the Telecomm & Electronic Security Firm for 9 years, was Director of Strategic Partnerships with TechnoGen Inc. and is now Vice President – TechnoGen Cyber Security, LLC. Karen is married with 2 adult children, residing in Baltimore Co. Connect with Karen on LinkedIn.
Bruce Spector, As the Co-founder of the Baltimore Cyber Range,LLC, Mr. Spector brings a wealth of experience in program management and electrical engineering in the fields of RF and MicrowaveCommunications, IT -Cyber Security andWireless network technology. Current projects that Mr. Spector is involved in include cyber security workforce development. These projects include curriculum development and training systems for introductory, journeymen and expert cyber security personnel. Earlier projects Mr. Spector managed include contracts to the Counter Narcotic andTerrorist Program Office (CNTPO) of the Department of Defense. These contracts include detailed technical and logistical program management of various CNTPO operations. Mr. Spector has personally directed these efforts which include Cyber security system design and installation, IT system integration, delivery, training and after installation support, in country, in the AFRICOM, CENTCOM and SOUTHCOM combat command AORs of the United States Department of Defense. Mr. Spector’s earlier experience also included the position of Chief Executive Officer/Founder of Matrix Engineering. Matrix Engineering was a systems integration and engineering development company focused on United States Intelligence community applications. Mr. Spector personally oversaw $60 million of projects and programs successfully delivered to the United States government. Approximately 20 percent of Matrix Engineering’s account base was international, focusing primarily on English, Australian, and Canadian Intelligence agencies. Systems delivered were cybersecurity projects of a classified nature. The emphasis was on signal intelligence (SIGINT) and technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM), employing the latest technologies available to facilitate mission requirements. Applications also included development, engineering, and deployment of data exfiltration systems for US government agencies. Prior to this, Mr. Spector was Vice President of Special Projects for the Wiltron Company (acquired by the Anritsu Corporation, a multi-billion-dollarJapanese communications technology corporation) Mr. Spector’s responsibilities included all aspects of the company’s business plan for the United States Intelligence Community. His responsibilities included profit and loss, program management, and product development. Mr. Spector started his professional career with the Hewlett-Packard Company as a staff engineer in its instrument division, eventually becoming a Sales Engineer with responsibility for sales to the United States Intelligence community. After Hewlett-Packard, Mr. Spector acted as worldwide sales manager for the Microtel Corporation, a leading supplier of SIGINT hardware to intelligence agencies around the world. Mr. Spector holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (1977). He currently is a member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFSCE), a member of the Association of Old Crows (AOC), and is also a member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE). Mr. Spector serves on a number of boards, including the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland and advisory committee for the Johns Hopkins University. Connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.