Dec 07, 2021

Biden Administration Preparing a Proposal to Improve Cybersecurity of the U.S. Water Supply

The goal is for these water utilities to analyze and voluntarily report data to help detect threats to infrastructure. 

cyber security

The Biden administration is preparing a proposal to improve the cybersecurity of the U.S. water supply.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the plan is part of a White House initiative to persuade key industrial companies to upgrade technology for detecting cyberattacks. 

The goal is for these water utilities to analyze and voluntarily report data to help detect threats to infrastructure. Water-sector trade groups are evaluating the draft blueprint, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The White House launched an Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative in April, which was expanded in August to include natural-gas pipelines. Adding the water sector to the program could strengthen infrastructure that has operated with few cyber regulations.

According to a U.S. EPA spokesperson, as a part of the plan, the EPA will work with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, reported The Wall Street Journal. 

These conversations come in the wake of companies that have had their water systems hacked, resulting in theft of their water data. 

The White House National Security Council floated the draft plan on Nov. 10, according to Michael Arceneaux, managing director of WaterISAC, a nonprofit that shares information about security threats within the water sector.

“Assuming the initiative gains traction among water and wastewater utilities, the sector associations will be working to help our members make informed choices about the sharing options available to them,” said Arceneaux, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, a National Security Council spokeswoman said the Biden administration hopes to expand its work to the water sector soon. It is unclear when the initiative will be launched.

The EPA has no binding cybersecurity standards for water providers.

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