AWWA updates cybersecurity guidance and tools

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) today announced the release of the updated Water Sector Cybersecurity Risk Management Guidance and the accompanying assessment tool.

These new resources are aligned revisions to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework version 1.1 and requirements in Section 2013 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018.

The revised assessment tool provides a simplified user interface that generates a prioritized list of recommended controls based on responses to 22 use-case questions regarding application various technologies. The user does not provide any security sensitive information nor does AWWA retain any user information.

A full suite of risk and resilience resources are available on AWWA’s website at

The guidance and assessment tool emphasize actionable recommendations with the highest priority assigned to those that are expected to provide the greatest impact in the short term. The outputs from the assessment tool provide users with a clear approach for assessing the implementation status of applicable controls, consideration of needs for enhancements and progress documentation.

National intelligence agencies report cybersecurity as the top threat facing critical infrastructure. AWIA requires all community water systems serving populations of 3,300 or more to conduct and certify completion of a risk and resilience assessment and an emergency response plan. The new requirement places emphasis on assessing cybersecurity risks to the following:

  • Electronic, computer, or other automated systems (including the security of such systems) which are utilized by the system;
  • The monitoring practices of the system (including network monitoring); and
  • The financial infrastructure of the system (accounting and financial business systems operated by a utility, such as customer billing and payment systems).

The American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

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