Like other critical services and systems, water and wastewater utilities can be targets of cyberattacks because of their importance to public health, the economy, and community functioning as a whole. In July, the MeDEP reported knowledge of two ransomware attacks in Maine that have affected wastewater infrastructure.
PWD is committed to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is important to ensure drinking water and wastewater treatment systems are protected from malicious cyber activities. At PWD this involves:
- Driving a culture of security - following best management practices for cybersecurity, keeping software up-to-date, being vigilant and educating employees to recognize fraudulent emails and the perils of “clicking” on links embedded within them.
- Maintaining emergency response plans – having a written plan of what to do and who to contact should enterprise or control systems be breached, and
- Staying informed - monitoring threat activity and information from several different resources including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, WaterISAC, and national water and wastewater associations.
By staying connected and informed, and implementing recommended best practices, PWD aims to make it difficult for cyber criminals to breach the systems that we and our customers rely on for the treatment and delivery of safe drinking water and the collection, treatment and discharge of clean wastewater to the environment.