– Protecting Drinking Water Plants Against Cyber Threats


Manufacturing facilities are some of the most complex and difficult environments to protect. The latest computer systems coexist with obsolete systems that are not supported by their suppliers. In addition, some operating technologies and IOT devices are outdated or cannot be protected by basic security tools such as antivirus software. As part of the transition to Industry 4.0, we are witnessing intensifying interconnections between computer systems and operating systems, which adds a layer of complexity, especially with the massive increase in teleworking due to COVID-19. In drinking water plants, the impacts of a cyber attack can be severe, as seen with the recent hack into the Florida water supply plant. Going forward, water plants must assume that they cannot protect themselves against what they cannot see, which means that in order to be able to protect themselves against cyber threats, they must have full visibility of their networks. In this presentation, we will cover current cybersecurity challenges, the main cyber threats that target plants and additional risks incurred by teleworking. We will make recommendations of how to effectively protect water treatment plants from cyber threats.