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Clean Water Current

White House Takes Action on Industrial Control Systems Security

September 22, 2021

Following recent high profile cybersecurity incidents, the White House in July released its National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems, outlining a plan to promote industrial control system (ICS) security in critical infrastructure sectors.

Among its goals is to urge the electricity, pipeline, water and wastewater, and chemical sectors to voluntarily deploy technologies to collect and share ICS monitoring data. This “ICS Initiative” has already begun with the electricity and pipeline sectors, with providers utilizing various devices and platforms for collecting and sharing their data.

The White House or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will likely reach out directly to water and wastewater utilities, especially large systems and those serving federal installations.

Questions of cost, technology, and government access to the information have arisen.  NACWA is working with the other water sector associations to collectively consider these questions. Therefore, utilities contacted by the government about the ICS Initiative are asked to contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.

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