CSC and MWH Team to Secure Water Infrastructure
- Create a secure water environment
- Offer an enterprise security roadmap program
- Identify an organization’s risks, and establish a vision for the future
- Offer cybersecurity training through workshops and roundtables
- Integrated system testing
- Improved knowledge of possible threats and attacks
- Better incident response
Public access to clean and safe water is the bedrock of modern society. That’s why governments are increasing efforts to secure and oversee the infrastructure that manages this critical resource.
Water infrastructure owners and operators also realize the need to better secure their industrial control systems. But they also want to link those systems to external networks to gain greater efficiencies and control. Unfortunately, this creates new vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
MWH Global, a global solutions provider focused on water and natural resources, is partnering with CSC to provide cybersecurity services that help utilities and municipalities worldwide better identify and manage vulnerabilities, mitigate risk and improve the security of their water and wastewater systems, dams, ports and hydroelectric power infrastructure.
“In the past, the control systems for critical infrastructure facilities were very isolated. There were no real opportunities for someone to come in from the outside and destroy or tinker with them,” says Phil Smith, a vice president at MWH Global. “Now, with everything being connected, there’s much more opportunity to cause damage, and there are examples of where that’s happened already.”
Drawing upon a well of expertise
As much as CSC understands cybersecurity, MWH knows how organizations manage water — whether for drinking, to generate power or when produced as waste. The company, which has been involved with some of the world’s most significant water-related projects, wanted to tap CSC’s deep knowledge in securing industrial control systems, including SCADA systems, each of which is unique to the organization that uses it.
“We’re known for our expertise in the water business,” says Smith. “We are not known for our expertise in cybersecurity, but CSC is. In fact, it’s remarkable how much experience CSC has and how deep its knowledge goes. This alliance blends the best of both worlds, and lets our clients sleep better at night knowing that there are so many dedicated professionals working to keep their systems operating the way they need to be.”
Through this alliance, the two companies have developed an Enterprise Security Roadmap program that defines actionable plans an organization can follow to improve security, evaluate its cybersecurity risk, and review its security strategies, measuring them against global standards and industry peers.
Through the program, CSC and MWH also identify and weigh an organization’s risks, benchmark its current security program against accepted practices and the competition, and establish a future vision that leverages the organization’s current cybersecurity program efforts and sets long-term budget expectations.
Baking cybersecurity in
“The roadmap lets you know what you want to accomplish with a large project, whether it’s five years down the road or next year, so that you’re not just piecing your security plan together,” says Smith. “You can’t just lay a security plan on top and expect it to be effective. You need to bake in security.”
The CSC-MWH team also plans to offer cybersecurity training, delivering it through avenues such as workshops and roundtables that teach organizations how to recognize possible threats to their systems.
“An attack can occur through a phone call, something on the computer or through personal contacts. It’s important that organizations have the right education to understand what an attack might look like, which is something that people in the water and natural resources area have had little experience facing,” says Smith.
He adds that most owners and operators of wet infrastructure are not prepared sufficiently to respond appropriately when an attack occurs. CSC and MWH also have teamed to develop an education program that teaches organizations how to best react to incidents so they can keep the water running and serve customers while saving evidence for forensic investigations and preparing government-mandated reports.
“In partnering with MWH, we’re providing customized next-generation security solutions that we can deliver in a trusted, integrated and efficient manner,” says Tom Patterson, CSC’s global general manager for cybersecurity consulting. “Our innovative alliance leverages the global reach and strengths of both MWH and CSC to create a cybersecurity delivery team that speaks the language of the water industry and works to do the right thing, the right way for critical infrastructure.”