Cyber-Physical Security for the Water Sector

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 2036

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
SINTEF Community, 0314 Oslo, Norway
Interests: infrastructure asset management applied to urban water networks (including reliability analysis, condition assessment, risk management); water safety plans; water security plans; cyber–physical protection of critical infrastructure
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Guest Editor
Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: urban water management; water systems resilience; critical water infrastructure risk and security analysis; uncertainty quantification; multi-objective evolutionary optimization; decision support; long-term policy scenario development and system stress-testing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The water sector is faced with multiple technical, organizational and external challenges hard to handle with traditional approaches and therefore calling for speeding up the process of digitalization. The value created using digital technologies is undisputable: ‘decreased operational expenditure,’ ‘increased workforce efficiencies,’ ‘increased customer engagement and satisfaction,’ and, not least, “increased knowledge-based decision process”. However, the technological advances could put the sector at higher risk, if the process of digitalization does not integrate security into solutions, with systematic management of risks covering both cyber and physical threats and their combination.

With security and resilience of the water sector in mind, this Special Issue addresses methods, approaches, modeling tools and technologies for risk management, covering prevention, detection, response against cyber, physical threats and their combination, and in case of failure, mitigation of consequences.

Furthermore, the Special Issue invites contributions to enable risk-informed decision making, supporting the implementation of the new directives on the resilience of critical entities.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions addressing different aspects of protecting critical water infrastructure against deliberate and accidental threats. It invites submissions that present innovative ideas, proof of concepts, use cases, and results from a variety of topics relevant to the security of water critical infrastructures and services. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • AI, machine learning for predictive security of critical infrastructures
  • Integrated (cyber & physical) security modelling and decision making
  • Collaborative risk assessment/mitigation in supply chains
  • Confronting complex threats and their cascading effects
  • Adaptive anomaly detection
  • Risk Assessment and Management, including threat assessment and foresight
  • Identification, assessment, and mitigation of cyber-physical threats
  • Automation for detection, prevention, and mitigation measures

Dr. Rita Maria Ugarelli
Prof. Dr. Christos Makropoulos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cyber-physical systems
  • risk management
  • cyber- physical hazards
  • cascading effects modelling
  • anomaly detection
  • foresight

Published Papers (2 papers)

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31 pages, 7989 KiB  
Article
Bridging the Cyber–Physical Divide: A Novel Approach for Quantifying and Visualising the Cyber Risk of Physical Assets
by Cael Keenan, Holger R. Maier, Hedwig van Delden and Aaron C. Zecchin
Water 2024, 16(5), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16050637 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Critical infrastructures and their physical assets are under increasing threat of cyber-attacks as technological integration creates cyber–physical systems (CPSs). This has led to an urgent need to better understand which physical assets in these systems are most at risk, but this requires crossing [...] Read more.
Critical infrastructures and their physical assets are under increasing threat of cyber-attacks as technological integration creates cyber–physical systems (CPSs). This has led to an urgent need to better understand which physical assets in these systems are most at risk, but this requires crossing the divide between cyber and physical risk assessments. However, existing cyber-security methods generally focus solely on the vulnerabilities and security of the cyber network and efforts to quantify the impacts of these cyber vulnerabilities on physical assets are generally limited to the consideration of individual attacks, rather than system-wide risk assessments. Similarly, risk assessments of physical infrastructure systems generally ignore potential impacts due to cyber-attacks. To overcome this cyber–physical divide in risk assessment, we introduce a novel approach for assessing risk across this divide. The proposed approach assesses the cyber risk of physical assets as a function of the vulnerabilities of their connected cyber components, and the contribution of cyber components to this risk. The approach is demonstrated with a case study of the C-Town water distribution system. The results indicate that the approach shows a modified prioritisation of risk compared to that obtained using conventional cyber or physical assessments, highlighting the importance of considering the connection between cyber and physical components in risk assessments of critical infrastructure and their physical assets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Security for the Water Sector)
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25 pages, 6287 KiB  
Case Report
A Cyber-Physical All-Hazard Risk Management Approach: The Case of the Wastewater Treatment Plant of Copenhagen
by Camillo Bosco, Carsten Thirsing, Martin Gilje Jaatun and Rita Ugarelli
Water 2023, 15(22), 3964; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223964 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 806
Abstract
The ongoing digitalization of critical infrastructures enables more efficient processes, but also comes with new challenges related to potential cyber-physical attacks or incidents. To manage their associated risk, a precise and systematic framework should be adopted. This paper describes a general methodology that [...] Read more.
The ongoing digitalization of critical infrastructures enables more efficient processes, but also comes with new challenges related to potential cyber-physical attacks or incidents. To manage their associated risk, a precise and systematic framework should be adopted. This paper describes a general methodology that is consistent with the Risk Management ISO (31000-2018) and builds on specific tools developed within the H2020 digital-water.city (DWC) project. The approach has been demonstrated for a digital solution of the DWC project that allows to visualize inflow predictions for the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in the city of Copenhagen. Specifically, the risk assessment and risk treatment steps are demonstrated in the case of the spoofing of the web interface where misleading forecast data may turn into fallacious maintenance schedules for the operators. The adopted methodology applied to the selected use case led to the identification of convenient measures for risk mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Physical Security for the Water Sector)
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