October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. National Cyber Security Awareness Month takes place each October and is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

What You Can do Now…

Use the National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 hashtag #CyberAware in your social media messages.

Join the weekly National Cyber Security Awareness Month Twitter Chat series on Thursdays in October at 3pm EST using #ChatSTC.

See what National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities are taking place in your area.

Find information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action.

Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.

Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting National Cyber Security Awareness Month on social media sites.

What You Can Do Throughout the Year…

Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:

Students K-8, 9-12, and Undergraduate        Parents and Educators

Young Professionals                                           Older Americans

Government                                                         Industry

Small Business                                                    Law Enforcement

For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect. or contact stopthinkconnect@dhs.gov for more information.

WLA to Host Free Tabletop Exercise Webinar

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance (WLA) is hosting a free tabletop exercise (TTX) webcast for stakeholders in EPA Regions 1, 2 and 3 (Northeast and Mid-Atlantic) that examines coordination of laboratory services in response to a drinking water contamination incident.

DATE:              October 14, 2015

TIME:               10:00AM – Noon (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wla-rp-tabletop-exercise-for-regions-1-2-and-3-tickets-18581963152

The scenario-based exercise provides state and local governments, utilities, emergency responders, and laboratory personnel with the opportunity to answer questions based on their real-life experiences and knowledge of emergency response practices and procedures contained in the Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan (WLA-RP). Exercise participants will receive information on Water Sector emergency response “best practices” and water security tools and resources.

More information is available at this flyer link Perfect_Storm_WLA-RP_TTX_Flyer_09172015

DHS to Host “Identification of Cyber Threats and Hazards” Webinar

Next Tuesday, DHS and its cosponsors at InfraGard, the Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3), and the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC) will cohost a webinar designed to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators, physical security and information security professionals, risk managers, and local homeland security and emergency management staff in their efforts to enhance the preparation, security, and resilience of their facilities and assets against cyber threats and hazards.

DATE:              Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TIME:               1:30-2:30PM (eastern)

There is no advance registration and no cost to participate

WEB LINK:      https://share.dhs.gov/jcipsept22/

PHONE:           1-888-790-3380/PIN 8112207

Speakers will include Mary Ellen Seale, Deputy Director, DHS Cybersecurity Coordination; Jane Ginn, Co-Founder, Cyber Threat Intelligence Network (CTIN); and Bob Timpany, Idaho Chief of Operations for the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), an operational division of the department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C).

If you need further information or have any questions, please email: Sector.Partnership@hq.dhs.gov or call (Evan) at 703-603-5247.

EPA Publishes Homeland Security Research Newsletter

Our colleagues at the EPA Homeland Security Research Program have shared their latest newsletter that includes information of interest to state drinking water programs.  You can download the entire newsletter at September2015.pdf.  Included are technical briefs that cover a range of topics such as computer tools; sampling and analysis; fate, transport & persistency; and decontamination studies.  You are encourage to share this information, as well, with your colleagues in the lab community.



Our colleagues in the Water Security Division have issued their latest electronic news bulletin.  See below for information about the latest in tools and products.

  • Emergency Response Mobile Website Video: Are you ready to respond? Watch and share EPA’s new YouTube video highlighting features of the Water Utility Response On-The-Go mobile website: https://youtu.be/loQqFAjcXNw
  • Checklists for Dangerous Duo: Drought and Wildfire: Print and share the Drought and Wildfire Incident Action Checklists for water and wastewater utilities. These short lists outline preparedness, response and recovery actions, as well as valuable resources on monitoring, forecasting and planning:
  • Webinar on Free Preparedness Tools: On May 13, the Water Security Division of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water hosted a webinar on free preparedness tools for water utilities. View the webinar: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/p1l2mejz3vx/

NRWA’s Water U Online Offers Free CREAT Webinar

As part of its online curriculum, NRWA’s Water University Online is offering a one hour webinar on EPA’s climate self-assessment tool, Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).

DATE:              August 27, 2015

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here https://nrwa.webex.com/mw0401lsp13/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=nrwa

CREAT is a software tool to assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and in assessing the related risks at their individual utilities.  CREAT allows users to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on their utility and to evaluate adaptation options to address these impacts using both traditional risk assessment and scenario-based decision making.

Presenters for this training are Stephen Fries and Elise Tao of CSC, EPA’s support contractor on climate issues.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama has designated this October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), invites your organization to participate in NCSAM this October. NCSAM 2015 will include a series of events across the country hosted by governments, businesses, nonprofits, and academic organizations to raise cybersecurity awareness and increase the nation’s resiliency in the event of a cyber incident.

NSCAM themes have been developed for each of the five weeks in October.  Weekly themes focus on an aspect of cybersecurity and the reality of our constantly connected lives.

Week 1 (Oct 1-2)      General Cybersecurity Awareness: Celebrating 5 Years of Stop.Think.Connect.™

Week 2 (Oct 5-9)      Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work

Week 3 (Oct 12-16)  Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected

Week 4 (Oct 19-23)  Your Evolving Digital Life

Week 5 (Oct 26-30)  Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals

More information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month is available at this link DHS NCSAM 2015_Themes External_Final .

ASDWA-EPA Webinar on Power Resiliency Posted

On August 5, ASDWA and EPA co-hosted a webinar on Power Resiliency at Water Utilities: What States Can Do.

ASDWA has posted both the recorded version of the webinar and the powerpoint slide presentations provided by the presenters – Lauren Wisniewski of EPA’s Water Security Division and Bill Gilday of the New York Department of Health’s Drinking Water Program.  You may view and/or download these materials on ASDWA’s website www.asdwa.org under the Security tab in the Important Documents Section.

EPA Develops Handout Summarizing its Climate Change Adaptation Tools

EPA has developed a handout summarizing the tools developed by the agency for state, tribal, and local governments and others to adapt their clean water and drinking water programs to a changing climate. Tools include, among others, a Storm Surge Inundation and Hurricane Strike Frequency Map; a Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans; a Flood Resilience Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities; and a National Stormwater Calculator with Climate Scenarios.

Click here to download the handout.

Click here to access the handout and other climate change and water resources.



CRWU Videos Demonstrate How to Consider Climate/Extreme Weather

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative’s mission is to provide resources for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.

Most recently, the CRWU Team has developed a series of videos that demonstrate how small and large, drinking water and wastewater, urban and rural systems have begun to plan ahead to be better prepared to manage extreme weather events.  Watch how these community drinking water and wastewater utilities are responding to extreme events and planning for their climate futures:

These utilities and thousands more across the nation are experiencing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. Many are taking action now to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience to a changing climate.  In 2015, EPA partnered with and assisted more than 20 communities as they completed their first climate risk assessment using EPA’s Climate Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).  Visit the EPA Climate Ready Water Utilities website to learn more.