AWWA releases guide during Cybersecurity Awareness Month to assist water utilities with cybersecurity risks
October 24, 2018

(DENVER) – As Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues, the American Water Works Association today released a guide that highlights how water utilities can manage the risk of cyber-attacks on water infrastructure systems. 

The free online guide, titled Cybersecurity Risk & Responsibility in the Water Sector, notes that “Cyber risk is the top threat facing business and critical infrastructure in the United States, according to the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.” 

The guide highlights steps water utilities can take to protect water systems, operations and customer data. 

“The reality and prevalence of cyber risk mandates that organizations and their leaders not only take meaningful action to prevent and detect harms, but also have a tested plan for responding swiftly and effectively when cyber incidents do occur,” said Kevin Morley, AWWA federal relations manager. “Failing to address cybersecurity risk in a proactive way can have devastating results.”

Also available as a resource is AWWA’s Cybersecurity Use-Case Tool, which was developed in response to Executive Order 13636 to improve infrastructure cybersecurity. The tool will be the focus of a workshop (PCW05) on Oct. 28 at AWWA’s Water Infrastructure Conference (WIC) in Atlanta. 

There will also be two technical sessions focused on cybersecurity at the conference: 

Water Sector Cybersecurity: Threats, Resources and Best Practices (MON09)
Cybersecurity - Keeping Scada and IIoT Devices Safe and Secure (TUES09)

Conference registration information is available on WIC’s webpage

America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which was signed into law yesterday, requires community water systems serving a population of more than 3,300 persons to conduct a risk and resilience assessment of their systems. This includes assessing the security of any electronic, computer or other automated systems that the community water system uses.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an annual initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

More resources can be found on AWWA’s Cybersecurity Guidance webpage.

                   
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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.