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. Note: 1. Proper citation(Last name, Year). 2. You must cite or quote every sentence that comes from another source with a properly APA formatted citation, all of the authors last name and year.

According to Whitman and Mattord (2019), a comprehensive defense-in-depth strategy involves implementing multiple layers of defense to protect against cyber threats. In the case of the water utility’s SCADA system, there are several countermeasures that could have been implemented to prevent this cyber attack from occurring. These countermeasures can be categorized into three main areas: technical, administrative, and physical controls.

First, the water utility should have implemented technical controls to secure the SCADA system. This includes measures such as strong authentication mechanisms, encryption of sensitive data, and regular patching and updating of software. Additionally, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) could have been implemented to monitor network traffic and detect any suspicious activity. According to Lynch (2020), IDPS can help identify and mitigate potential attacks before they cause major damage.

Secondly, the water utility should have established administrative controls to ensure proper security policies and procedures are in place. This includes conducting regular security assessments and audits to identify any vulnerabilities, enforcing access control policies to restrict unauthorized access to the SCADA system, and providing comprehensive training and awareness programs for personnel. As highlighted by Whitman and Mattord (2019), employees play a critical role in maintaining the security of the organization’s information systems, and their awareness and adherence to security policies is essential.

Lastly, physical controls could have been implemented to protect the SCADA system from physical threats. These controls include securing the physical location of the SCADA system, restricting physical access to authorized personnel only, and implementing surveillance systems to monitor the facility. According to Solomon and Chiappetta (2019), physical security is often overlooked in cybersecurity discussions, but it is a critical component in preventing unauthorized access or tampering with the system.

In addition to these general countermeasures, specific measures could have been implemented to address the identified vulnerabilities in the given scenario. For instance, the water utility should have implemented measures to prevent the operator from being able to reprogram the alarms without proper authorization. This could include role-based access control (RBAC) mechanisms, where only authorized personnel have the necessary privileges to modify alarm settings. Furthermore, additional authentication controls, such as two-factor authentication, could have been implemented to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the SCADA system.

To prevent the operator from preventing access to the SCADA system by others, the water utility should have implemented strong access control mechanisms. This could include user account management practices such as regularly reviewing and updating user privileges, implementing strong password policies, and regularly monitoring user activity logs for any suspicious behavior. Additionally, the water utility should have established strict change control processes to regulate and monitor any changes made to the SCADA system, ensuring that any changes are properly authorized and documented.

In conclusion, to prevent the cyber attack on the water utility’s SCADA system, the implementation of a comprehensive defense-in-depth strategy is crucial. This strategy should include a combination of technical, administrative, and physical controls, tailored to address the specific vulnerabilities identified in the given scenario. By implementing these countermeasures, the water utility can significantly reduce the risk of a successful cyber attack on their SCADA system.


Lynch, D. (2020). Intrusion detection and prevention systems. Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 1-11.

Solomon, M. G., & Chiappetta, B. (2019). Fundamentals of information systems security. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Whitman, M. E., & Mattord, H. J. (2019). Management of Information Security. Cengage Learning.