How Safe Is Our Water Infrastructure from a Cyberattack?

October 12, 2017

O'Melveny attorneys Kiran Raj, Daniel Suvor, Heather Welles, and Matt Kline recently authored an article in the Los Angeles Business Journal's "Leaders in Law" special issue, titled "How Safe Is Our Water Infrastructure from a Cyberattack?" Below is an excerpt of the full article.

How safe is our water infrastructure from the next cyberattack? Can hackers cripple a large dam or shut off water service to an entire city? Although there has been increased attention and media focus on privacy and data security following recent data breaches and global ransomware cyberattacks, it is important to consider the cybersecurity risks posed to our nation’s vital infrastructure, in particular water management systems. The cybersecurity challenge faced by the water sector is significant. It is defined by challenging vulnerabilities, dedicated and well-resourced threats, and potential consequences that could affect countless Americans and cause severe economic damage. Managing this risk will require concerted effort to, among other things, fix vulnerabilities in legacy infrastructure, cooperate with law enforcement to deter and apprehend cyber criminals, and ensure that the water system remains resilient under even the most challenging conditions.