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56 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 • An audit system in place to monitor all the above, with sufficient frequency for each method to ensure compliance and effectiveness Air humidifiers cannot replace these and oth- er ESD control measures. Adding moisture to an environment where two materials of differ- ing electrostatic potential come into contact and separate (like Kapton™ tape being pulled off a dispenser) will not stop the charging from oc- curring. However, adding moisture to the envi- ronment will reduce the number of ESD events. No humidity control system will prevent this. Commercially available industrial humidifi- cation systems have a variety of features as part of their design. e systems designed for elec- tronics assembly are typically closed-loop sys- tems where moisture is measured, and the lev- el is controlled. e water used passes through hygienic multi-stage filtering systems includ- ing UV lighting. is helps ensure that the wa- ter vapor being dispensed does not damage machinery and electronic assemblies. Many systems have line flushers to purge out impuri- ties from time to time. At the end of the day, in the deep of winter in northern climates, the heating systems em- ployed in the PCB rework area will dry out the air and move the relative humidity to low lev- els. is in turn will allow ESD events to occur more readily, putting pressure on the robust- ness of the ESD control and monitoring pro- gram. While humidification systems are not re- quired in all cases, their use in certain condi- tions may be warranted. SMT007 References 1. "Coaxing better performance from electrostat- ics demonstrations in humid conditions," Thomas Jones, class notes, University of Rochester. Bob Wettermann is the princi- pal of BEST Inc., a contract rework and repair facility in Chicago. For more information, contact To read past columns or contact Wettermann, click here. Lessons Learned from a Cyberattack Two years ago, Prototron was hit was a ransom- ware attack that brought the business to a screech- ing halt and forced a full rebuild. The cyberattack originated in the Redmond, Washington facility, but branched out and hit multiple PCs and infrastructure in their Tucson, Arizona facility as well. "Because of the extent of how this software works and how advanced it was, we had to do a 50,000-foot view of shutting everything down and doing a complete rebuild," said Eric Cormier, a cybersecurity consultant who worked with Prototron. "We couldn't take what we had that was still working and reuse it. It did some serious damage." Now, two years later, Prototron president Dave Ryder looks back on what happened, the process to rebuild, and lessons learned moving forward. In this brief interview, he expresses his thoughts on the true cost of a cyberattack, from lost files to restructuring new orders, and the possibility of just paying the ransom to get everything restored. One important tip: Make sure to check your insurance policy. "With ransomware—it was built to not only infiltrate our network, but also determine the types of PCs we had in the shop to do the most damage. It wreaked havoc across our facility." Click to listen to Dave Ryder's update.

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