Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.

December 5, 2019

Why You Know More About Industry 4.0 Than You ThinkIf industrial manufacturing had a buzzword of the decade, it might be “Industry 4.0.” The concept is inescapable, yet it can be hard to define, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). After all, SMMs’ capabilities, needs, and budgets look very different from the large companies who often drive the latest innovations and trends.

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November 26, 2019

Succeed with InternshipsInternships can feed the talent pipeline for many small- to medium-sized manufacturers facing serious workforce gaps as their senior employees near retirement. But internship success (finding, engaging, and retaining talent) requires strategy and planning to locate and groom qualified job candidates.

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November 19, 2019

How to Detect a Cyber Attack Against Your CompanyIf you run a smaller manufacturing facility, you may not consider yourself a target for hackers and cyber criminals. The truth is, your operational systems could already be under attack, with no obvious signs of an ongoing information security breach. Learn how to detect cyber attacks that may have already compromised your information systems in the third installment of the five-part MEP National Network “Cybersecurity for Manufacturers” series published in IndustryWeek.

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November 12, 2019

How to Respond to a Cyber Attack"Do you have a plan of action if your manufacturing infrastructure is attacked by a malicious hacker? Even one cyber attack can be devastating to your bottom line if you don’t act quickly to contain the fallout. Don’t wait to plan your strategy. Learn the essentials of a successful response plan in the fourth installment of the MEP National Network’s five-part series on “Cybersecurity for Manufacturers” published in IndustryWeek."

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November 5, 2019

How to Recover from a Cyber AttackRecovering from a cybersecurity incident can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you’ve lost information that’s critical to running your manufacturing facility. But you can limit the damage to your company and your reputation by developing a solid recovery plan in advance.

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October 29, 2019

How to Protect Your Business from Cyber AttacksThis article is the second installment in a five-part series outlining best practices when it comes to "Cybersecurity for Manufacturers." These recommendations follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.

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October 24, 2019

How to Identify Your Company’s Cybersecurity RisksThis article is the first installment in a five-part series outlining best practices when it comes to "Cybersecurity for Manufacturers." These recommendations follow the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework, which has become the standard for the U.S. manufacturing sector.

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October 17, 2019

The 5 Most Common Cybersecurity Threats to ManufacturersThe best way to fight back against these five threats and others is to implement a formal cybersecurity practice at your company.

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October 1, 2019

How to Make the Most of Your Manufacturing Day EventThis year’s MFG Day is on October 4, 2019, with over 2,000 events already registered on the MFG Day website ( While every MFG Day event will be unique in some fashion, there are a few things that every host can do to make the most of this celebration of manufacturing.

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September 20, 2019

How to Handle Covered Defense InformationManufacturers at all levels in the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain must properly handle Covered Defense Information (CDI). If you don’t, you could lose your DoD contracts. To help you determine if your company comes into contact with CDI, here’s a concise definition of the sensitive information and suggestions for how you can approach providing the “adequate security” the DoD mandates.

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