A cyberattack may seem like the subject of a movie rather than an actual possibility, but if you’ve been following the news recently, you’d know they can happen.
The situation in Florida saw a hacker gain access to the water treatment system. An operator quickly reacted and thwarted any potential harm.
In 2018, America’s Water Infrastructure Act required utilities to complete a risk and resiliency assessment that has to include cyber threats to their controls. Additionally, operators throughout the country carefully pay attention to the controls providing them with real-time information about the water they are treating and distributing.
In a video interview, Kevin Morley, AWWA’s security expert, said, “On the internet, we’re all just a bunch of 1s and 0s. Sometimes it’s directly targeted, sometimes it’s a less sophisticated attack, but nevertheless it has the potential to impact utility operations. The controls they put in place to manage the potential impact of those types of attacks on a water system.”