How Water Utilities can Boost Their Cybersecurity Resilience

Around the world, water utilities are fighting an increasing battle against a rapidly evolving foe. Cybercriminals are targeting supply infrastructure intent on causing disruption, confusion, and losses.

Tactics can include shutting down supply to consumers or tainting water with additives that make it unusable. The cost of rectifying such incidents can be significant in both time and money.

Utilities experiencing cyberattacks and their customers can suffer in a number of ways. If water quality is compromised, it could lead to health problems which may lead to long-term legal battles. There is also the prospect of a negative impact on an organisation’s reputation and brand.

To reduce the risk of successful cyberattacks, increasing numbers of utilities are embracing the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). This involves deploying digital sensors across an infrastructure that report back on everything from equipment function to flows and quality.

In the water sector, IoT strategies build on the older concept of operational technology (OT). These systems comprise everything from industrial control systems (ICS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).