This defense in depth discussion scenario is an intentional …

This defense in depth discussion scenario is an intentional cybersecurity attack on the water utility’s SCADA system. It occurs during the fall after a dry summer in Fringe City. The water utility’s Information Technology (IT) person did not receive an expected pay raise and decides to reprogram the SCADA system to shut off the high-lift pumps. The operator’s familiarity with the SCADA system allows him to reprogram the alarms that typically notify operators of a high-lift pump failure. In addition, he prevents access to the SCADA system by others. A wildfire breaks out on the outskirts of the city. Please identify what type(s) of new countermeasures should have been implemented to prevent this cyber attack from occurring. Start a discussion thread and discuss what type(s) of new countermeasures should have been implemented to prevent the cyber attack described above from occurring. Be specific in recommending countermeasures for this scenario.

In order to prevent the cyber attack scenario described above from occurring, several new countermeasures should have been implemented within the water utility’s infrastructure. These countermeasures should address the vulnerabilities and weaknesses that the IT person exploited to reprogram the SCADA system and prevent access to it. The following are specific recommendations for countermeasures that can enhance the defense in depth approach of the water utility’s cybersecurity system.

Firstly, the water utility should have implemented stricter access controls to the SCADA system. This would involve implementing strong authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, which require multiple forms of verification to access the system. Furthermore, the utility should have enforced stricter user privilege management, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to critical functionalities of the SCADA system. This would limit the potential for an insider threat like the IT person in this scenario.

Secondly, to address the issue of alarms being reprogrammed, the water utility should have implemented system integrity checks. These checks would monitor and verify the integrity of alarm configurations on a regular basis. Any unauthorized changes to alarm settings would trigger an alert, notifying system administrators of potential tampering or anomalies. Additionally, continuous monitoring of the SCADA system’s configuration files and log files would help identify any unusual activities or modifications to the system.

Thirdly, to prevent the IT person from isolating others’ access to the SCADA system, the water utility should have implemented network segmentation and firewalling. By dividing the network into distinct segments and regulating traffic between them using firewalls, the utility could prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to critical systems. Additionally, implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) would help identify and block any malicious activities or attempts to disrupt the network.

Furthermore, the water utility should have prioritized cybersecurity training and awareness programs for its employees. This would help raise awareness about the potential risks and consequences of cyber attacks, encouraging employees to report any suspicious activities or behavior. Additionally, employees should be trained in basic cybersecurity practices, such as strong password management and phishing awareness, to minimize the risk of inadvertent actions leading to a cyber breach.

Lastly, regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing should have been conducted on the water utility’s network and SCADA system. This would help identify any potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers. By addressing these vulnerabilities in a timely manner, the utility would be able to proactively strengthen its defenses and reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks.

In conclusion, to prevent the cyber attack scenario described above, the water utility should have implemented a range of new countermeasures, including stricter access controls, system integrity checks, network segmentation, cybersecurity training, and regular vulnerability assessments. These countermeasures would enhance the defense in depth approach and significantly reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks on the SCADA system.