Last updated May 01, 2019

Every industry must contend with fighting against cyber-attacks. Water and wastewater utilities are no exception.

Last year, President Obama issued Executive Order 13636, entitled “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."

The purpose of the order was to direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to work with key players to develop framework to prevent cyber security breaches.

As a result, associations and government authorities have focused on providing resources to help establish a security framework for managing your wastewater receiving.

A Unique Challenge

Water utilities face the unique challenge of needing a system that is flexible, reliable and easy to operate.

However, those fundamental characteristics usually make a system less secure. Water management involves more than just a talented IT department versed in the latest firewalls and malware. Managing industrial systems requires a different approach.

A specific strategy that includes technologies, controls and policies is imperative to provide the secure platform needed.

Our industry relies on technology to conserve energy, monitor operations and wisely use resources. However, those same technologies can leave you vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

Resources Available

Assessing your current security system is the first step to fighting against a cyber attack. Identify your weaknesses and what would happened if those weaknesses were targeted.

The Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division has a Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET) to help utilities assess their security.

This downloadable form provides a step-by-step process to help users assess their IT security and control systems. It also helps you measure your level of security against industry standards provided by nationally recognized organizations.

For example, just this month the American Water Works Association (AWWA) released its “Process Control System Security Guidance for the Water Sector," a free online resource.

This tool provides utility managers with suggested processes, as well as best practices.

Also this month, the Obama administration released “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure for Cybersecurity ," a 41-page risk management guide that focuses on what good cybersecurity should look like.

Flowpoint supports municipalities by filling the security gap that often exists.

Terminal security, as well as network protection are our top priority. Our solutions provide access to information while protecting the flow of data, ensuring it only gets to those authorized to have it.

Contact us to find out more.

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