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Cybersecurity Risk & Responsibility in the Water Sector

Cybersecurity Risk & Responsibility in the Water Sector

Published By:

American Water Works Association


Judith H. Germano





Executive Summary

Cybersecurity is a top priority for the water and wastewater sector. Entities, and the senior individuals who run them, must devote considerable attention and resources to cybersecurity preparedness and response, from both a technical and governance perspective.

Cyber risk is the top threat facing business and critical infrastructure in the United States. Government intelligence confirms the water and wastewater sector is under a direct threat as part of a foreign government’s multistage intrusion campaign, and individual criminal actors and groups threaten the security of our nation’s water and wastewater systems’ operations and data.

Managing cybersecurity is a complex challenge that requires an interdisciplinary, risk-based approach, involving an organization’s business leaders, as well as their technical and legal advisors. A robust and tested cybersecurity program is critical to protect public health and safety, prevent service disruptions, and safeguard customer and employee personal and financial information.

Inadequate cybersecurity measures and flawed responses to cybersecurity incidents carry tremendous risk. In addition to serious threats to people, property, operations and data, cybersecurity incidents also can result in potential civil and regulatory liability, and reputational harm. Attacks will happen; do not be caught unprepared.

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