50,000 security disasters waiting to happen: The problem of America’s water supplies
Unlike the electric grid, which is largely run by a smaller number of for-profit corporations, most of the more than 50,000 drinking water facilities in the U.S. are nonprofit entities. Some that serve large populations are larger operations with dedicated cybersecurity staff. But rural areas in particular often get their water from small plants, often run by only a handful of employees who aren’t dedicated cybersecurity experts, said Bryson Bort, a consultant on industrial cybersecurity systems.
“They’re even more fragmented at lower levels than anything we’re used to talking about, like the electric grid,” he said. “If you could imagine a community center run by two old guys who are plumbers, that’s your average water plant.”
“Those two plumbers are in no different a boat than a Fortune 100 company,” Bort said.