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Report Highlights Need for Additional Resources to Improve Water Sector Cybersecurity

Dec 1, 2021

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) recently released a report, Poor Cybersecurity Makes Water a Weak Link in Critical Infrastructure, on the deficiencies of the water sector’s cybersecurity and how cybersecurity could be improved by utilities. 

The report references the cyber-attacks that have occurred on utilities, as well as a survey conducted by the Water Sector Coordinating Council earlier this year, to demonstrate that cybersecurity measures need to be improved to prevent future consequential attacks on drinking water and wastewater services. 

The report is critical of EPA’s oversight of the sector’s cybersecurity and notes that water sector associations have made efforts to provide resources to utilities in the absence of strong federal action.  The report also emphasizes that more resources are needed for utilities to channel to cybersecurity measures.  Utilities are already devoting their available resources to their primary functions of regulatory compliance and infrastructure maintenance and replacement, leaving few funds for significant cybersecurity investments. 

NACWA is coordinating with other water sector associations to advocate for increased federal resources for water utility cybersecurity.  In addition, the associations are exploring sector-led initiatives that could set cybersecurity standards and provide assistance for utilities to meet these standards. 

Please contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, with questions or comments related to cybersecurity.  

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