Route 66 runs through downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kristin Sanders, CISO for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, revealed how New Mexico’s largest water and wastewater utility has been addressing the security challenge. (Asaavedra32, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

As critical infrastructure facilities increasingly converge their IT and OT systems, visibility into traditionally isolated operational systems is turning into a key security challenge. Kristin Sanders, chief information security officer for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, revealed last week how New Mexico’s largest water and wastewater utility has been addressing this challenge by leveraging a series of software solutions, sensors and internet-of-things tech.

Recognizing that the ABCWUA is “ahead of a lot of the water authorities” across the U.S. in terms of IT/OT modernization and compliance with the Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Sanders offered advice to utilities that are seeking to make similar progress. She recommended to start by focusing on the Center for Internet Security’s top 20 controls and resources, and then see how you can implement in some different solutions to really knock out some of that low-hanging fruit.”

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