Skip to main content

Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

Cyber Attacks Continue to Impact Utility Systems

Hackers continue to attack utility systems throughout the United States. In November, a thwarted attack occurred on a Pennsylvania water authority. The hackers were able to gain partial control of a booster station but did not affect operations. Knowledge of these attacks should serve as a warning to utility departments in South Carolina: cyberattacks can impact critical infrastructure and technology leading to an interruption in services to utility customers. 

Simple but effective measures should be in place to help provide protection against hackers accessing the systems. These are suggested measures to prevent cyber-attacks:

  • Require strong, unique passwords that include numbers and characters. Always reset the default password.
  • Back up critical data systems, and confirm the ability to restore the backup.
  • Update and patch systems regularly.
  • Implement multifactor authentication, an authentication method that requires the user to provide two or more credentials to verify their identity for login.
  • Have a cyber response plan in place as well as written policies and procedures.
  • Conduct periodic training for employees on how to detect and avoid common cyber threats, as well as policies and procedures to follow if a threat occurs.

For more information on measures to prevent cyberattacks, review this cybersecurity checklist for municipalities

If you suspect you have had a breach, follow the normal claims reporting protocol by submitting a claim online using Navrisk Central. You may also call Mike Waslewski, SCMIRF claims manager at 803.933.1272.