Protecting the Nation’s Most Valuable Resource
In the United States, hackers have exploited computer programs to illegally access government-run water systems’ controls. In each case, quick-thinking employees and redundancy in the treatment systems saved entire communities from drinking, cooking and showering with dangerously contaminated water.
Unfortunately, the level of cyber sophistication at water systems varies greatly, and because the sector is such a target-rich environment, water utilities can be ripe for cybersecurity attacks. The sector’s complexities create multi-faceted compliance issues as many system operators outside of NAWC members have been lax in their investments in physical and cybersecurity-related areas.
NAWC’s Cybersecurity Pillars can help ensure the country is prepared and protected in a cyberattack. NAWC worked with key stakeholders to develop Cybersecurity Pillars to serve as guiding principles around cybersecurity, compliance and the sector’s path forward on this key issue.
NAWC and its member companies have the technical capability and the financial capacity to tackle these challenges using the Cyber Pillars as our guide. While the risks and threats to the water sector continue to grow and become more sophisticated, NAWC member companies remain committed to continuing efforts to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses. However, NAWC’s members are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to preparedness and cybersecurity in the water sector.
of NAWC members have a cybersecurity plan in place, however, NAWC’s members are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to preparedness and cybersecurity in the water sector
From the experts
California Water Group
Water is the only utility that people ingest. And the frontier of water cybersecurity is only going to get bigger, not smaller. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And we must be prepared.