SCADA Security for Municipal Water
The fact that water is the elixir of all life forms, human beings can live for months without food, but only for a matter of days without water. Life can still exist without the presence of electricity or fossil fuels but not so without fresh water.
Urban water usage worldwide is 31 gallons a day per person, with usage in undeveloped area averaging 18 gallons a day. In the western world, 100 to 150 gallons per person per day is more typical, although people only consume 10% of the total production supply. Agriculture consumes about 70% and industry about 20%.
Providing and protecting the security of that supply is a reasonable mandate. The water supply is an essential part of the critical infrastructure.
The water industry recognized these systems needed even more security after the 2006 conviction of a hacker who seized control of a water treatment facility’s SCADA system in Australia. This security breach resulted in the dumping of millions of gallons of raw sewage onto a resort hotel’s grounds for a period of three months.
As a result, water providers realized that many industrial controls would benefit from Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity and diverse firewalls behind the front-office firewalls. Here is how one leading and progressive utility is securing the industrial control networks of their extensive network infrastructure.
A simple solutions is available
There are proven “defense-in-depth” security products available to provide protection for industrial networks. The mGuard industrial network security appliances have been widely utilized to protect industrial automation equipment and processes running the newest and oldest operating systems. Among other formats and applications, the mGuard is available as a small, DIN-mount module for factory enclosures, easily enabled by technicians rather than network administrators. It incorporates router, firewall, encrypted VPN tunnels, filtering of incoming and outgoing connectivity and CIFS functions, to provide distributed defense-in-depth, economically and without disturbing production.
For more information about mGuard security appliances, please click here.
United Water Secure Network Infrastructure
United Water operates and manages water and wastewater systems that serve about 7 million people across the United States of America. In 2009, United Water began to look for an industrial security solution particularly for their remote sites. A solution that is easy to configure, powered by 24 VDC, meets their IT security standards and can last long under harsh weather conditions.
In 2010, United Water became aware of the award winning mGuard industrial network security devices from Phoenix Contact, created and developed by their subsidiary Innominate Security Technologies. As Mr. Keith Kolkebeck – the Systems Engineering Project Manager for United Water – mentioned in a recent interview, United Water currently deploy mGuard security modules in multiple locations throughout the Northeast and have used the products both for their SCADA networks and their security networks at remote locations. They have interfaced the mGuard devices with their existing CISCO infrastructure. Not only that, they are also saving money on remote support from their staff and outside contractors and they are saving time and effort visiting sites for minor code changes for troubleshooting.
For more information, visit Phoenix Contact Cyber Security page.