Community Water Systems

Critical water systems, serving 3,300+ customers, face cyber threats. Federal regulators act against hackers jeopardizing water availability and purity.

There are approximately 144,000 water systems (both public and private) that serve at least 3,300 customers. As a critical resource, water and its availability, purity, and treatment are all critical components of the water distribution systems. In other words, a breakdown of one or more of these critical components could and would result in massive consequences to the population that these water district serve.  With the increasing cyber threats from foreign state actors, malicious hackers, and ransomware opportunists, federal regulators have stepped in.

The Congressional Research Service has identified the SDWA as the vehicle to increase regulations to further ensure the safeguarding of water supplies, applicable to a vast network of over 144,000 water systems, both public and private. Notably, Community Water Systems (CWS) serving populations of 3,300 or more are now mandated to periodically review and update their risk assessments every five years. While risk and resilience assessments and emergency response plans remain voluntary for smaller CWS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with furnishing guidance and technical support to aid them in these endeavors. Given the heightened vulnerability of smaller entities to cyber threats due to limited cybersecurity infrastructure, prioritizing cybersecurity measures becomes paramount for these businesses.

In light of the stringent requirements outlined in Section 1433 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Procure IT offers tailored solutions to water districts to swiftly implement the mandated cybersecurity measures.

Discover how Procure IT could play a pivotal role in bolstering the cybersecurity infrastructure of a water district:

Assessment of Current Infrastructure:

Begin by assessing the current cybersecurity infrastructure, posture, and application stack of the water district. Identify existing vulnerabilities, potential entry points for cyber threats, and any compliance gaps with the mandated cybersecurity measures.

Understanding and Addressing Mandated Cybersecurity Measures:

Speak with a Procure IT cybersecurity expert, who can familiarize you with this specific cybersecurity measure mandated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Let us help identify solutions that meet the specific needs and challenges of the water district while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Request for Proposals (RFP):

Draft a detailed RFP outlining the requirements, objectives, and desired outcome of the SDWA to protect the critical infrastructure in the United States. We will include specific provisions related to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and any other relevant regulations.

Vendor Selection:

Procure IT will provide a minimum of three cybersecurity provider options that meet the requirement outline in RFP. We will also include their experience with critical infrastructure and their understanding of regulatory compliance for cybersecurity in the area of Community Water Systems (CWS).

Implementation and Integration:

Once a vendor is selected, the Procure IT team will work closely with both parties to ensure a smooth transition to the chosen provider or solution. This in most cases will involve integrating new technologies, deploying security measures, and training staff on cybersecurity best practices.

Testing and Validation:

Conduct thorough testing and validation of the implemented cybersecurity measures to ensure they effectively mitigate potential threats and vulnerabilities. This may include penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and simulated cyber attacks.

Compliance Reporting:

Procure IT helps our clients maintain detailed records of cybersecurity activities and compliance efforts to demonstrate adherence to regulatory requirements. Prepare and submit regular compliance reports as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act and other relevant regulations.

Partnering with our team of cybersecurity experts, water districts can confidently secure their infrastructure and comply with the mandated cybersecurity measures under the Safe Drinking Water Act. We guide you through every step, from assessment to implementation, ensuring solutions that safeguard critical assets and guarantee the uninterrupted delivery of safe drinking water to your community.

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