Cybersecurity Workforce Measures Present Business Opportunities

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As part of the federal government’s efforts to address cybersecurity needs in our age of state-sponsored hacking and other high-profile data breaches, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon undertake a Congressionally-mandated review of cybersecurity resources. In just two months, the Secretary of DHS will be required to conduct the first assessment of the Department’s cybersecurity workforce and evaluate its readiness and capacity to meet the agency’s cybersecurity mission. The assessment of the DHS workforce necessary to defend and protect against ongoing cyber threats will be an important component of a DHS mission to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Part of the assessment requires DHS first to identify cybersecurity workforce vacancies, and by the end of the year to devise a well-conceived strategy to recruit cybersecurity professionals. More granular information on the primary work functions of each workforce position by cybersecurity category and specialty area also will be provided. The development of the comprehensive strategy and resulting federal recruitment efforts present opportunities for cybersecurity vendors and individual professionals to address skills gaps in the current federal workforce. Continue reading this entry

Hiring From a Competitor? Play Defense to Limit Trade Secret Risk

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When discussing trade secrets and strategies to protect valuable proprietary information, most companies focus on their outbound risk. In other words, companies pay close attention to protecting their own valuable trade secrets and proprietary information by implementing strong protections and policies such as to limit access to this information and to require employees to sign confidentiality agreements. Companies take these steps to address the risks presented when departing employees may be tempted to take key proprietary information to a competitor. Continue reading this entry

Buying Someone Else’s Headache – Top Five Supply Chain Pitfalls to Consider When Expanding Through Acquisition

Manage Your Risks Along the Supply Chain While Obtaining All You Want

As the economic recovery continues to pick up steam, manufacturers are looking to grow their capacity and expand their markets. Many manufacturers choose to expand their horizons by acquiring smaller companies or merging with a competitor. When properly planned and executed, such transactions can bring great economic rewards. However, when the risks inherent in such a transaction are not properly accounted for, companies may find that they wind up purchasing someone else’s headache. While a target’s finances, liabilities, and intellectual property are the subject of intense scrutiny (properly so), many buyers fail to give sufficient consideration to the pitfalls and headaches that could be buried in the target’s supply chain contracts.

No two transactions are exactly the same. Due consideration should be given to the particular circumstances of any proposed acquisition. For example, acquisitions through bankruptcy present additional considerations. However, in any acquisition, buyers should make sure that they give proper consideration to at least the following issues: Continue reading this entry

Peeking Behind the Curtain: Macroeconomic Insight Into Manufacturing

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Last week, Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”), visited Foley & Lardner’s Chicago office and shared a macroeconomic update on the manufacturing industry. His comments and charts (he’s an economist, of course he had charts) provided insight into the current state and bright future of American manufacturing. NAM’s membership agrees because 88% of members surveyed were optimistic as of the end of the first quarter of 2015. Still, Dr. Moutray did not shy away from some significant challenges and uncertainties facing the industry. We are grateful to Dr. Moutray for the time he spent with us, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you. Continue reading this entry

Manufacturing on the Rise in Florida

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When one thinks of business in Florida, most think of tourism — amusement parks, fishing, golf, and beaches — or Florida’s world-famous citrus — oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries. Perhaps Florida’s best kept secret: Florida’s manufacturing sector is surging forward.

In recent years, Floridians have become accustomed to Governor Rick Scott announcing manufacturing jobs being created across the state. Just in the last few months, another 380 jobs were added to manufacture luxury boats in Florida. Those are in addition to the 250 others to manufacture LNG Heat Exchanges, 100 more jobs for biotech manufacturing in Tampa, and 134 new positions to manufacture automotive components at VOXX International. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that Chief Executive Magazine recently ranked Florida the second best state for business.

Continue reading this entry