Cth steps up efforts to secure water assets against cyber attack

Local councils owning and operating water and wastewater assets are being asked to take part in a voluntary national exercise to enhance cyber security resilience.

The exercise, to be coordinated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), will test and strengthen arrangements for responding to cyber incidents.

ACSC head Abigail Bradshaw says “a cyber disrupting critical water infrastructure could have serious impacts on the safety, social or economic wellbeing of Australians”.

Scheduled to take place in August 2021, the two-day exercise will provide opportunities for organisations and personnel to:

  • strengthen and validate their cyber security response and recovery plans, including interoperability with other organisation and jurisdictional arrangements;
  • practise technical, operational and strategic capabilities to respond to cyber incidents, including decision-making;
  • improve communications with their partners and the public;
  • increase their knowledge of current cyber threats, potential consequences and actors targeting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of water sector organisations’ information and systems;
  • validate and inform training; and
  • increase exercise management capabilities.

Registration for the exercises closes on Thursday, 24 September 2020, with a pre-registration information session to be held online using GovTeams on Monday, 21 September from 1-2pm AEST.

Email the ACSC’s national exercise program team at asd.acsc.nep@defence.gov.au for more information about how local councils can be involved. Or go to the ACSC’s website.