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Water and Cyber security - Protection of critical water-related infrastructure

On 18 November 2020, Slovenia, Israel and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) organized a virtual event “Water and Cyber security - Protection of critical water-related infrastructure”, with 22 panelists and 150 participants.

Prof Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General, delivered opening remarks. National activities were presented by Slovenia, Israel, Hungary and Switzerland. Regional activities were presented by the European Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The importance of private sector in the protection of critical infrastructure was underlined by Microsoft, two Israeli companies (Reali Technologies and CyCLoak) and the Slovenian company HashNET. Panelists from the international organizations: UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Call, Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Geneva Water Hub and Geneva Internet Platform.

The water sector is a part of every country's critical infrastructure. With increasing digitization, the water sector is becoming more efficient, but also more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, particularly when faced with a lack of awareness, capacity, and willingness to invest. Cyber-attacks on the water sector can endanger drinking water supply, water quality, transboundary flood risk, water flows and water allocations, electricity, agricultural production, as well as wastewater collection and treatment systems with devastating effects on health, environment and economy.

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