Paper: STOP-IT – Strategic, Tactical, Operational Protection of water Infrastructure against cyber-physical Threats

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This paper was published for the 13th International Conference on Hydroinformatics (HIC 2018).

Authors: R. Ugarelli, J. Koti, E. Bonet, C. Makropoulos, J. Caubet, S. Camarinopoulos, M. Bimpas, M. Ahmadi, L. Zimmermann, M. G. Jaatun


Water supply and sanitation infrastructures are essential for our welfare, but vulnerable to several attack types facilitated by the ever-changing landscapes of the digital world. A cyber-attack on critical infrastructures could for example evolve along these threat vectors: chemical/biological contamination, physical or communications disruption between the network and the supervisory SCADA. Although conceptual and technological solutions to security and resilience are available, further work is required to bring them together in a risk management framework, strengthen the capacities of water utilities to systematically protect their systems, determine gaps in security technologies and improve risk management approaches. In particular, robust adaptable/flexible solutions for prevention, detection and mitigation of consequences in case of failure due to physical and cyber threats, their combination and cascading effects (from attacks to other critical infrastructure, i.e. energy) are still missing. There is (i) an urgent need to efficiently tackle cyber-physical security threats, (ii) an existing risk management gap in utilities’ practices and (iii) an un-tapped technology market potential for strategic, tactical and operational protection solutions for water infrastructure: how the H2020 STOP-IT project aims to bridge these gaps is presented in this paper.