CISA, EPA, and FBI Unite to Strengthen Cybersecurity for Water Systems

New In Technology

In a collaborative effort, CISA, EPA, and FBI have released a vital cybersecurity guide tailored for Water and Wastewater Systems (WWS) entities. This initiative aims to fortify defense mechanisms and protect critical water resources managed by these systems, which are essential for public health and safety.

Due to outdated operational and information technology systems, water systems face heightened vulnerability to cyberattacks, posing risks of data breaches and operational disruptions. The released guide offers actionable steps to enhance cybersecurity resilience:

1. Limit exposure to public-facing internet
2. Conduct regular cybersecurity assessments
3. Immediately change default passwords
4. Perform inventory of operational technology/information technology assets
5. Develop and exercise cybersecurity incident response and recovery plans
6. Backup OT/IT systems
7. Minimize exposure to vulnerabilities
8. Provide cybersecurity awareness training

The comprehensive incident response guide, jointly issued by CISA and FBI, outlines detailed protocols for identifying, responding to, and recovering from cyber attacks on water management systems. These measures are critical for minimizing damage and ensuring uninterrupted operations.

Organizations involved in water and wastewater systems are encouraged to utilize the resources provided by EPA and regional CISA cybersecurity advisors for support in implementing cybersecurity measures. By adhering to these guidelines and collaborating with cybersecurity experts, water systems can bolster their defenses against potential cyber threats and safeguard vital infrastructure.