NordVPN Teams’s picture

By: NordVPN Teams

The FBI reported earlier this year that complaints of cyber attacks received by its cyber division had risen to almost 4,000 a day—a 400-percent increase over pre-coronavirus numbers. In one four-month period (January to April), 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware, and 48,000 malicious URLs—all related to Covid-19—were also detected by one of INTERPOL’s private-sector partners.

Hardware-reliant, legacy, and even hybrid network infrastructures have suffered terribly from a lack of quick-fix solutions. These solutions are necessary to facilitate the exponential increase in remote “offices” that require adequate protection.

“One of the things that’s changed is that corporations no longer have control over the infrastructure their employees use for work,” says Juta Gurinaviciute, chief technology officer at NordVPN Teams.

Although no network is immune to attacks, a stable and efficient network security system is essential for protecting data.

Zach Murphree’s picture

By: Zach Murphree

The metal additive manufacturing (AM, aka 3D printing) industry is in vigorous pursuit of repeatable part quality. Its aim is to match the reliability and performance found in traditional manufacturing industries such as machining or casting. Repeatable quality opens the door to wide-scale implementation in product development: Witness the explosive growth of molded plastics after the development of a well-defined shape-forming process for part consolidation and functionally creative geometries was established.

Industry analyst Smartech Publishing states that the AM market crossed $10 billion last year. Going forward, AM’s potential in series production and direct part replacement is huge. Growth now depends largely on quantitative quality measurement and establishing dependable machine-calibration methods. Even the improving cost-efficiencies of AM won’t advance the process much if component behavior can’t be fully understood and trusted in mission-critical applications or across mid- to high-volume orders.

Merilee Kern’s picture

By: Merilee Kern

As Covid-19 rages on, warning sirens have sounded of late amid a flurry of headlines surrounding ultraviolet C (UVC) light device-safety issues. Rightfully so, as the current pandemic has ushered in a veritable wild west of UVC gadget deployments with subpar consumer safeguards, instructions, or guidance.

So important are the concerns amid this rapidly proliferating product sphere, that the FDA recently issued a consumer advisory regarding UVC light technology that’s applicable for industrial, business, travel, and residential use. Although the FDA says that “UVC radiation has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-Coronavirus,” it explains that the current SARS-CoV-2 virus is not exactly the same virus mutation. The FDA does, however, concede that “UVC radiation may also be effective in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).”

The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson’s picture

By: The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson

I took a drama class in college. It was fun; we studied famous plays, practiced dialogue and performed scenes. Then we did some really goofy stuff like pretend to be different types of animals, and learn how to say, “I love you” or “I hate you” using only the word “rhubarb.” One day the professor asked us if we’d like to be supernumeraries in The Metropolitan Opera of New York when it came to Atlanta.

Supernumerary is just a fancy term for “extra,” and my prof pitched it as a way to get to see an expensive sold-out opera, up close and personal, while getting paid to do it. I didn’t see any downside, and signed up right away for three of them.

My first “super” role was for Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. On the night of the opera, I arrived by a backstage door. I was hustled into a dressing room with all the other supers, where we were quickly given costumes. After dressing, we were moved as a group onto the stage, where we played a crowd of people. I recollect that I participated in three scenes with a costume change between each. It was the last one that has remained burned into my memory.

Multiple Authors
By: Tinglong Dai, Guihua Wang, Ronghuo Zheng

The Covid-19 pandemic has crippled the airline industry. Passenger numbers are down more than two-thirds from last year, and airlines have been canceling flights and shutting down routes.

It’s frustrating for travelers, but for patients on organ transplant waiting lists, the loss of flights can put a life-saving kidney or heart out of reach.

Our research shows just how valuable each flight route can be for connecting donor organs with people in need of transplants. It also suggests that the industry’s great rebooting in the coming years can be an opportunity to help make the U.S. organ transplantation system more equitable.

As business scholars specializing in the fields of healthcare operations management, business analytics, and economics of information, we believe policymakers need to understand the potential impacts of the airline network on organ transplantation as they guide the post-pandemic recovery of the airline industry.

Ayman Jawhar’s picture

By: Ayman Jawhar

As a business leader, you probably think similarly to McKinsey about what makes a great product manager (PM): a perfect combination of skills like business acumen, market orientation, and technical skill as well as soft ones... the usual suspects.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your position), just as our management thinking is becoming outdated and requires reform, we also need to update our view of this ultimate management role.

Dawn Bailey’s picture

By: Dawn Bailey

I recently listened to a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, author of the book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Portfolio, the Penguin Group, 2009), and it caused me to reflect on some key questions in and related to the Baldrige Excellence Framework, as well as leadership in general.

Donald J. Wheeler’s picture

By: Donald J. Wheeler

On Sept. 29, 2020, the recorded worldwide death toll from Covid-19 reached 1 million. Six days earlier the United States reached 200,000 Covid-related deaths. So how did the United States with only 4 percent of the world’s population manage to capture 20 percent of the world’s deaths in this pandemic?

The 19 countries listed in figure 1 account for 85 percent of the Covid-related deaths worldwide, as reported by the European CDC. Here we can see how the U.S. death toll exceeds all others.

 
Figure 1: Number of Covid-related deaths reported by 19 countries as of Sept. 26, 2020

The short explanation for this dubious achievement is that between April 1 and the present, the United States had an average of 27 percent of the worldwide total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19. With that kind of market share, the high death toll was sure to follow. But a more detailed answer requires that we look at the number of deaths per capita and the rate at which these death tolls are growing.

Celia Paulsen’s picture

By: Celia Paulsen

A survey from 2014 found that small and medium-sized manufacturers do not like to compromise on quality when it comes to communications devices, vehicles, or tea (yes, tea—the survey respondents were probably British) but were more likely to skimp when it came to things like manufacturing equipment. Whether it is a new computer for the office or a welding station for the shop floor, purchasing new equipment is a decision about risk. A poor purchasing decision can result in a waste of resources and possibly a safety or cybersecurity incident.

Before you purchase or otherwise acquire a piece of equipment, whether it be a CNC machine or a cell phone, there are a lot of things to consider: How will it be financed? What special safety or cybersecurity concerns come with it? What will maintenance look like? How long is it expected to last?

It can be easy to overlook some aspect of risk involved in a purchase decision when overwhelmed with options. It can be especially difficult to know what to buy when comparing three different products that seem very similar.

NIST MEP has created a pre-purchase guide that might help.

Eric Weisbrod’s picture

By: Eric Weisbrod

The idea of digital transformation can be scary. The growth of technology is outpacing a comfortable pace of adoption for many manufacturers. But remaining content with the status quo often means being left behind. Digital transformation has become an imperative to give manufacturing organizations the flexibility and agility required to overcome business disruptions and adapt to rapidly changing and demanding global markets.

Digital transformation of quality management is a process that depends on something you already have: quality data. Your quality management system is key to optimizing all your quality operations, including supplier and materials management, production processes, quality checks, packaging, and shipping.

InfinityQS calls this holistic approach “manufacturing optimization.” It starts with improving the way you use data to answer the strategic, big-picture questions that truly matter to your business.

Limits of the status quo

The barriers to transformation are often a result of operational and resource challenges that typically boil down to one thing: everyone’s plate is already full. Whether managing and maintaining servers and IT projects, or running day-to-day production, no one has the time to take on new transformation projects.

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