Societal Impact Report (D1.4)

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This document provides a Societal Impact Assessment of STOP-IT, based on relevant deliverables and a set of semi-structured interviews with the Frontrunner utilities. The assessment finds positive societal impacts along multiple dimensions. The Frontrunners stressed the need for customization and highlighted the usefulness of different solutions, based on their respective contexts, capacity, and pre-existing solutions. However, all emphasized the value of a holistic risk management approach for physical and cyber protection of water critical infrastructures (CIs), for increased capacity to detect, assess and respond to physical and cyber threats and protection of human health and life. Furthermore, positive impacts were identified both in terms of learning and collaboration and in terms of capacity building and innovation capacity, where improved procurement competence among the utilities was emphasized, along with further innovation and project initiatives. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, STOP-IT has also made a substantial impact when it comes to awareness building and policy dialogue in the EU. Here, the initiative to form a European Water ISAC and contributions from a central role in ICT4Water Action group on Cyber Security stand out as major achievements. Finally, systematic consideration of integrity and ethics, as well as environmental aspects revealed other positive impacts, including increased rationality and accountability in risk management and reduced climate gas emissions, in addition to preventing and reducing cyber-physical hazards.