EPA Offers Free Cybersecurity Assessment for Public Water Systems

Cyberattacks against public water systems are increasing. Implementing basic cyber hygiene practices can help utilities prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering to conduct a free cybersecurity assessment for public water infrastructure.

EPA’s Water Sector Cybersecurity Evaluation provides direct access to a cybersecurity professional who will perform a free virtual cybersecurity assessment. EPA will provide guidance through the assessment process and answer questions and concerns along the way.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and EPA are partnering on a joint venture to increase cyber awareness in the water sector. View FBI and EPA’s resources related to cybersecurity in the water sector.

Visit the EPA website to learn about cybersecurity basics for water systems, how to conduct a cyber risk assessment, read about upcoming cybersecurity training for drinking water and wastewater systems, and request training.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: County Resources

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

2023 marks the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and it has grown into a collaborative effort between government and industry to enhance cybersecurity awareness, encourage actions to reduce online risk, and generate discussion on cyber threats on a national and global scale.

Secure Our World: 2023 and Beyond 

In recognition of the 20th year, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced a new enduring cybersecurity awareness program, Secure Our World. Secure Our World reflects a new enduring message to be integrated across CISA’s awareness campaigns and programs and encourages action to protect users online or using connected devices.

The program promotes behavioral change across the Nation, focusing on how individuals, families, and small to medium-sized businesses can Secure Our World by focusing on the four critical actions below. Secure Our World is this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme and will remain the enduring theme for future Awareness Month campaigns.

Staying Safe Online Is Easy With These Four Steps

  • Use strong passwords
    • Strong passwords are long, random, and unique, including all four character types (uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols). Password managers are a powerful tool to help create strong passwords for each account.
  • Turn On MFA
    • Users need more than a password to protect online accounts, and enabling MFA makes it significantly less likely to get hacked. Enable MFA on all online accounts that offer it, especially email, social media, and financial accounts.
  • Recognize and Report Phishing
    • Be cautious of unsolicited messages asking for personal information. Avoid sharing sensitive information or credentials with unknown sources. Report phishing attempts and delete the message.
  • Update Software
    • Ensuring software is current is the best way to ensure the latest security patches and updates. Regularly check for updates if automatic updates are not available.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 Resources and Partner Toolkit

CISA and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) have partnered to create resources and messaging for organizations to use when they talk with their employees, customers, and memberships about staying safe online. Available resources include:

  • PDF guide to Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • sample email to promote Cybersecurity Awareness Month to employees
  • sample press release to announce participation in the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • Sample social media posts and graphics. Don’t forget to use #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth and #SecureOurWorld in all your Cybersecurity Awareness Month-related posts!
  • A branded video background for conference calls
  • A branded email signature graphic  
  • An infographic to educate county employees and constituents on the four simple steps to stay safe online
  • A 101 presentation to educate colleagues, employees, and customers about Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • A branded PPT template to create custom presentations

Download the free toolkit here.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.