Cyber Security: Protecting Drinking and Waste-Water Utilities from Cyber Threats
Implementing cybersecurity best practices is critical for water and waste-water utilities. Cyber-attacks are a growing threat to critical infrastructure sectors including water and waste-water systems. Many critical infrastructure facilities have experienced cybersecurity incidents that led to the disruption of a business process or critical operation.
The Israeli government has issued an alert to organizations in the water sector following a series of cyberattacks aimed at water facilities. According to an alert published by Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, the attacks targeted supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems at waste-water treatment plants, pumping stations and sewage facilities.
Organizations in the water and energy sectors have been advised to immediately change the passwords of internet-accessible control systems, reduce internet exposure and ensure that all control system software is up to date. According to Israeli media reports, the attackers targeted facilities across the country on Friday and Saturday. Representatives of Israel’s Water Authority claims that the attacks have not caused any operational damage. Organizations have been advised to immediately report incidents that result in disruptions.
Cyber Threats to Water and Waste-Water Systems:
Cyber-attacks on water or waste-water utility business enterprise or process control systems can cause significant harm, such as:
- Upset treatment and conveyance processes by opening and closing valves, overriding alarms, disabling pumps or other equipment.
- Deface the utility’s website or compromise the email system.
- Steal customers’ personal data or credit card information from the utility’s billing system.
- Install malicious programs like ransomware which can disable business enterprise or process control operations.
These attacks can compromise the ability of water and waste-water utilities to provide clean and safe water to customers, erode customer confidence and result in financial and legal liabilities.
Benefits of a Cybersecurity Program:
The good news is that cybersecurity best practices can be very effective in eliminating the vulnerabilities that cyber-attacks exploit. Implementing a basic cybersecurity program can:
- Ensure the integrity of process control systems.
- Protect sensitive utility and customer information.
- Reduce legal liabilities if customer or employee personal information is stolen.
- Maintain customer confidence.
Challenges for Utilities in Starting a Cybersecurity Program:
Many water and waste-water utilities particularly small systems lack the resources that are required for information technology (IT) and security specialists to assist them with starting a cybersecurity program. Utility personnel may believe that cyber-attacks do not present a risk to their systems or feel that they lack the technical capability to improve their cybersecurity.
Be assured, however, that basic cybersecurity best practices can be carried out by utility personnel without specialized training and user-friendly resources are available to help. You just have to know how to start and where to look at!
KENTIX Solutions for Waste-Water Utilities:
The KENTIX Multi Sensor® technology monitors all important physical hazards in space, rack and infrastructure in your container data center with only a few devices. The various status and alarm values are provided via SNMP that can be easily integrated into the respective management tool via the SNMP Management Information-Base (MIB). KENTIX devices support all major monitoring, SCADA and DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) solutions. KENTIX can also be used to concentrate and monitor information from external systems (climate, UPS, generators, electrical systems etc.).
The 24/7 monitoring and the complete monitoring of a branched and mostly global infrastructure is an important part for companies to ensure their operations.
The KENTIX Multi Sensor® technology monitors all important parameters such as temperature, humidity, dew point, fire, voltage, movement and much more with a single system. KENTIX is therefore part of the basic equipment of every IT infrastructure no matter whether it is a small data center, repeater station or distributed remote containers.
The Clarity concept started in 1977 as a physical security company and has evolved over time. Our expertise started maturing with alarm systems, telephone key systems, computers, and associated products. Today we are part of the cutting edge with major US and international clients. We are proud, of our growth and formation into a group of highly focused and specialized ITSP, SIP Provider, IPTV, Network and Cyber Security specialist’s. Clarity has been providing peace of mind for our clients from the edge to the world and back for many years.
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