DHS: Water Plant Needs System Upgrade

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 02:07 PM gHale

Critical infrastructure remains vulnerable to cyber attacks and one water department in a small village in New York’s Hudson Valley is now doing something about it after a nudge from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

As part of a standard security assessment, DHS said the Village of Athens should replace the computers at the water filtration plant to make them less vulnerable to potential hacking.

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To guard against potential security risks, the village needs to install two separate computers. One to run the plant itself, and a second to secure records and for general office needs.

The two separate computer systems would ensure “no one can come in and remotely operate the plant,” said Mayor Andrea Smallwood.

Purchasing a new computer system to run the plant could come via funds the village already has set aside, but the village would have to find money for the second computer for general office needs at the plant.

Once the new system is in place, DHS will come in and monitor the system for free to ensure it meets current security needs.

Village officials will officially tour the newly renovated sewer plant Wednesday.

The renovated plant needed to meet state requirements and have an order on consent lifted. Work began last year.

The consent order restricted new development in the village because the state prohibited additional hook-ups to the plant. Once the new plant is fully operational the state will inspect it to make sure it meets the state’s parameters to determine if they should lift the order.

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