Elmatica’s Didrik Bech Accepts Role as IPC Cybersecurity Task Group Vice-Chair



On June 18, Nolan Johnson spoke with Didrik Bech, Elmatica CEO and I-Connect007 columnist, who was recently selected as vice-chair for IPC’s Cybersecurity Task Group.

During their conversation, Didrik outlined the task group’s mission statement and the target audience for its work. He also shared specific examples where cybersecurity is increasingly important to the electronics manufacturing industry globally.

Nolan asked Didrik what IPC APEX EXPO 2021 attendees can expect to see from the Task Group in early 2021. Didrik provided information on how to get involved with the task group for interested IPC members, and described what IPC APEX EXPO 2021 attendees can expect to see from the Task Group.

As they wrapped up, Nolan and Didrik discussed Elmatica’s 50th anniversary celebration planned for next year’s IPC APEX EXPO.

I-Connect007 continues to deliver original reporting and coverage of the electronics design, electronics manufacturing, and contract manufacturing industries, including up-to-date information from the companies, associations, and supply chains globally. Find the latest news and information at I-Connect007.com.

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Audio Transcription:

Nolan Johnson: Hi, Nolan Johnson here with I-Connect007, and today, I’m speaking with Didrik Bech. Didrik is the CEO of Elmatica based in Oslo, Norway. Didrik, you’ve just been announced as the IPC Cybersecurity Task Group’s new vice-chair. Welcome.

Didrik Bech: Thank you. First of all, I would like to say that I’m honored to be given the opportunity to participate in the Cybersecurity Task Group. And I’m really looking forward to supporting the industry and seeing how we can move this very important issue forward.

Johnson: Can you give us a brief overview of the Cybersecurity Task Group’s mission?

Bech: Yes. The mission is to provide a system for reducing manufacturing supply chain cybersecurity risk, and the question is, “How?” The answer is identifying and implementing levels of cybersecurity protection, which can be used to assess a manufacturer’s sub-security status and hence determine their existing cybersecurity structure and identify steps to improve their cybersecurity security. Of course, who is this applicable for? It’s applicable for all manufacturers, subcontractors, and actors working in the printed circuit supply chain. It will be an open and international standard, meaning that anyone from electronics manufacturing industry with interest in the topic can join the task group, and it includes mechanisms—hopefully—for third-party assessments that we believe are very important for the future to ensure that we are on the same standard.

Johnson: Why is cybersecurity such an important focus right now? Why is it important to the industry?

Bech: Over the last year, we’ve seen a slow but steady increase in cybersecurity awareness. People also understand we need to protect our data, or more specifically, we need to secure our intellectual property rights. You have elements like ransomware and other viruses that are specifically designed to steal information or create havoc in people’s supply chain. And the question is, “How can we secure ourselves?” With new software, things becoming more digitalized, and machines talking more and more to each other, on most CEOs’ agendas, this has become a very pivotal aspect that we need to address. And if you don’t address it, it will address you.

Johnson: With all of that hanging over the industry, Didrik, what does the task group plan to achieve in 2020? What can we expect to see from the task group at IPC APEX EXPO 2021?

Bech: As we all know, it is a quite a large subject, and it’s important to bring a lot of actors along and with us so we can ensure a broad basis of understanding when we create a standard. I’m quite certain that at IPC APEX EXPO 2021, we will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the framework in detail. However, we are already having meetings that will give us the ability to present some kind of at least first or second rough drafts. By late 2021, we’ll have something that will be very interesting and perhaps ready for the industry.

I would like to point out that of the members of the group I’ve already met, we have participants from all over the world, and their knowledge level and experience are quite impressive. Again, it shows that this is a subject where many people are both concerned and understand that this is very important to address. Perhaps we’re a little bit behind, but it’s a very important initiative, and I’m looking forward to working with these people and supporting our industry.

Johnson: Given that, Didrik, how can an interested party share their concerns, ask questions, or get involved with the task group?

Bech: Good question. First of all, I would like to point out that this is a global framework. All input, no matter what, is highly appreciated from all corners of the world, and if you would like to participate, I strongly advise you to contact Chris Jorgensen at chrisjorgensen@ipc.org to get more information or be added to the task group. There are quite a lot of members. We had a small group working more diligently in the beginning, but the member opinions when we go out to a larger group is very important, so anybody who feels like it and has the time, please contact Chris Jorgensen at IPC.

Johnson: Fantastic. Thank you, Didrik.

Bech: These days, the most valuable commodity in life is time. Besides that, it is information, securing your commodity, and consequently protecting your information. We see that people are not aware of where the data is, who can access it, how it is stored, and when it was deleted. I hope that this standard will support and help others in industry, so we can take care of our information because that is the most important thing, if you ask me, in our life.

Johnson: I also understand that Elmatica is celebrating 50 years?

Bech: That’s correct. We are quite proud to say that in February next year, we will be 50 years old. We’ll be the oldest PCB broker in the world, and it is quite an accomplishment. I’m really looking forward to the next year. And I’m quite certain this is practically when I’m at IPC APEX EXPO, so I will be sharing champagne with those who are standing beside me that day.

Johnson: Fantastic. I’m looking forward to catching up with you in San Diego in 2021, as well. I’m Nolan Johnson. I’ve been speaking with Didrik Bech, CEO at Elmatica and the newly announced IPC Cybersecurity Task Group vice-chair. Thanks for listening.


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