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Water Utilities

Securing Water Utilities: Cybersecurity & OT Anomaly Detection

 

cyber security for water utilities

Cyber Security

A safe water supply and effective wastewater management are crucial elements of modern economies. To better manage growing demand, water authorities worldwide invest heavily in automation and computerization for water purification, wastewater management, desalination, storage and delivery. 

Increased connectivity within the water sector has led to an increase in cyber security and OT vulnerabilities in water facilities and utilities plants. With potential impacts ranging from overflowing dams to water contamination, to the ultimate failure: loss of human life, water operations require real-time visibility to ensure there are no cybersecurity threats or process malfunctions, with a zero-downtime tolerance policy. 

Because of this, maintaining real-time situational awareness and operational reliability and the ability to independently detect any operations anomaly is of utmost importance. It gives operators the chance to visualize the most authentic, real-time, real-life situation of the infrastructure – whether someone is trying to create a cyber attack or machines are nearing failure – to protect the critical assets and the communities they serve.

In 2016, hackers breached a regional United States water utility, taking control of hundreds of programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) that governed the flow of water treatment chemicals and endangering thousands of lives. This incident, among others, led to the U.S. Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, highlighting the inherent vulnerability of critical water infrastructure worldwide.

Operational Technology for water utilities

Operational Technology

Most global water OT infrastructure, despite being automated and computerized, is still not resilient in the face of cyberthreats, natural disasters, and equipment malfunctions. Malicious manipulation of data or malfunction can leave operators blind to the actual state of critical assets and result in costly or even catastrophic downtime.

SIGA uses out-of-band, machine learning powered predictive analytics to safeguard critical water infrastructure assets by monitoring raw, 100% un-tampered & unhackable electrical signals (Purdue Model, Level 0) of critical assets and brings unmatched cybersecurity into physical processes, to provide real-time anomaly detection and to support intelligent, real-time, business-critical decision making. 

SIGA’s incipient failure detection technology directly monitors raw electrical signals rather than data packets to detect process anomalies faster and at far greater resolution, surpassing performance SCADA systems, which miss key anomalies by filtering electrical signals.

SIGA delivers unmatched visibility into physical processes, offering water infrastructure operators control over mission-critical systems and operational resilience by consolidating all critical sensor data into one platform for optimizing situational awareness, preventing service interruptions from cyber attacks or operational (OT) failures, and enabling full compliance with strict regulatory regimes.