Federal Government Extends Cybersecurity Initiatives to the Water Sector

White House Extends Cybersecurity Initiative to the Water Sector

The Biden administration announced an extension of its Industrial Control Systems (ICS) cybersecurity initiatives to the Water Sector. 

The contents of the plan are summarized below:

  • This plan will assist owners and operators with deploying technology that will monitor their systems and provide near real-time situational awareness and warnings. The plan will also allow for the sharing of relevant cybersecurity information with the government and other stakeholders, which will improve the sector’s ability to detect malicious activity.
  • EPA and CISA will work with water utilities and invite them to participate in a pilot program for ICS monitoring and information sharing. This pilot will demonstrate the value of such technology to the sector. The WSCC, CISA, and EPA will also collaborate to promote cybersecurity monitoring to the entire sector.
  • The plan will meet the particular requirements of this sector. This sector is made up of thousands of systems that range in size from the very small to ones that service major metropolitan cities that have little or no cybersecurity expertise and are unsure what steps they should take to address cyber risks. EPA and CISA will work with appropriate private sector partners to develop protocols for sharing information.
  • The plan will initially focus on the utilities that serve the largest populations and have the highest consequence systems; however, it will lay the foundation for supporting enhanced ICS cybersecurity across water systems of all sizes.

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  • Detect and report attacks, threats and malware with a highly sophisticated approach, deeply inspecting and contextualizing full session Internet traffic
  • Mitigate and prevent threats to critical ICS systems
  • Edit network traffic inline to make threats disappear
  • Protect and secure ICS infrastructure from cyber attacks

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