AWWA, DHS Offer Roadmap to Secure Control Systems

Water utilities are better positioned to protect themselves against cyber attacks or accidental cyber events following the introduction of the "Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Water Sector," a project sponsored by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Department of Homeland Security.

The cyber security document, developed by a working group of the Water Sector Coordinating Council, was among the many innovations shared during the fifth AWWA Water Security Congress, which concluded recently in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The vision of the cyber security project is to design, install, and maintain control systems that assure the water sector can operate with no loss of critical function both during and after a cyber attack.

The AWWA Water Security Congress brought together water professionals, security experts, leading technology manufacturers, and others to discuss the state of water security almost seven years after 9/11.

"Water security research has come a long way in meeting the needs of the drinking water industry," said Jonathan Herrmann, director of EPA's National Homeland Security Research Center, in the Congress's keynote address. "Yet, we still have a lot of work to better understand how to harden our systems, effectively detect chemical, biological or radiological contamination, contain events if they occur, cost-effectively decontaminate or replace infrastructure in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and make sure we deliver safe water and protect public health."

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