‘Everyone’s half asleep, and bosses don’t want trouble’: The struggle to secure utilities

Water treatment plant in Washington State. (Seattle Department of Transportation/ CC BY-NC 2.0)

A hacker’s recent attempted sabotage of an Oldsmar, Florida city water treatment plant and the breakdown this week of the Texas power grid in the face of brutal winter weather offer a stark reminder of vulnerabilities that face this nation’s critical infrastructure.

Padraic O’Reilly, co-founder of cyber risk firm CyberSaint, shared insights with SC Media, having worked directly with water systems, electric providers, energy companies and other utilities to assess cyber risk and prevent cyberattacks.

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