The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking to guide officials from the water sector on how to address cyber challenges that impact water infrastructure.

NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is seeking input from technology vendors, water sector members, and other key stakeholders to develop a new practical reference design for mitigating cyber risks in water and wastewater systems.

The guide would address four main cybersecurity challenges across the water and wastewater sector, including asset management, data integrity, remote access, and network segmentation.

A Federal Register Notice, issued last week by NIST, details several cybersecurity challenges unique to the water and wastewater sector such as utilities covering a geographically diverse area while typically featuring a complex distribution of networks and infrastructure.

NIST is soliciting responses from all sources of relevant security capabilities to enter into an NCCoE Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Cybersecurity for the Water and Wastewater Sector: A Practical Reference Design for Mitigating Cyber Risk in Water and Wastewater Systems project.

“We are seeking feedback from all stakeholders in the water and wastewater utilities sector. In our efforts to ensure our guidance can benefit the broadest audience, the NCCOE is especially interested in hearing from water utilities of all sizes – small, medium, and large,” according to the notice.

The NCCoE is in the initial phase of the project that aims to produce a reference architecture designed specifically for the water and wastewater systems sector.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.