Water utilities are vital community services that supply safe drinking water and wastewater treatment. They are, nevertheless, vulnerable to cybercrime, just like any other essential infrastructure. Hackers might compromise the water utility’s network and produce a variety of negative consequences, including as manipulating the water supply, interrupting operations, or stealing critical data. As a result, safeguarding water utilities from cyber attacks is critical to ensuring public safety and the integrity of the water supply.
Water utilities can take the following steps to protect themselves from cybercrime:
Conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment: A risk assessment is a critical step in detecting potential weaknesses and threats to the water company’s security. The review should include identifying essential assets, potential vulnerabilities, and potential threats. This will help determine the best security policies and activities to take to mitigate the dangers.
Create a cybersecurity strategy: After the possible risks have been identified, it is critical to create a complete cybersecurity plan that includes policies, processes, and technical controls to protect against cyber attacks. This strategy should address issues such as access control, data security, and incident response.
Employees should be educated on recommended practices for cybersecurity: Workers are frequently the weakest link in any cybersecurity strategy. As a result, it is critical to teach personnel on appropriate procedures for recognizing and reporting possible cyber risks. This includes phishing assaults, social engineering, and other cybercriminal strategies.
Install network security measures: To monitor network activity and detect suspicious behaviour, water utilities should adopt network security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions.
Update software and firmware on a regular basis: Updating software and firmware on a regular basis is critical for preserving the network’s security. These updates frequently include essential security fixes that fix known vulnerabilities.
Employ multifactor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra degree of security to prevent illegal access. Before entering the network, users must give two or more authentication elements, such as a password and a fingerprint.