WARWS Retains MCGA for IT/OT Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation Assessment at Wardwell Water

Glenrock, WY (November 30, 2021) After a successful cybersecurity risk mitigation and incident response assessment at the Shoshone Utility Organization (SUO) water system, The Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems (WARWS) has retained Mission Critical Global Alliance (MCGA) to conduct a risk mitigation assessment at the Wardwell water system in Natrona County, Wyoming.


The information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) cybersecurity and risk mitigation subject matter experts at MCGA will conduct an intense two-day risk mitigation assessment of Wardwell’s systems and processes, and a review of the current incident response plan. The goal of this engagement is identical to the recent SUO water system assessment which is to identify risk and recommend changes to immediately reduce the risk exposure at the water system. The areas of focus are:

  1. Identify root causes of cybersecurity risks

  2. Visualize, identify, prioritize, and track cybersecurity risks

  3. Create, maintain, and test cybersecurity incident response plans

The cyber-attack on the City of Oldsmar’s water treatment system on February 8, 2021, provided a stark reality that the water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States is vulnerable to “bad actors” who intend to disrupt these vital services that we count on every day.


WARWS understands the importance of addressing the threat against water and wastewater infrastructure throughout the state. By utilizing the training and assessment resources of MCGA, WARWS will provide its members with guidance and practical steps that will help water and wastewater systems throughout Wyoming better manage their cybersecurity risks.


“Cyber and Physical security continues to be an issue in this day and age that we must train our operators to recognize issues as much as we train them for water treatment issues,” said Mark Pepper, the Executive Director of WARWS. “We have seen MCGA demonstrate their robust Cyber and Physical tie in training to meet that need and provide the awareness and training to meet cyber-IT infrastructure complexities. I am very glad that both the Shoshone Utility Organization and now Wardwell Water and Sewer District understand those complexities and have taken necessary steps to go beyond regulatory requirements to make useful and real improvements in their infrastructure systems to provide lasting protection for their customers.”


“The training being provided at the Wardwell water system is the best opportunity for MCGA to provide immediate and tangible results,” said Bryan Kainrath, MCGA president. “By working directly with the experts managing the critical infrastructure, we will be able to affect immediate results that will mitigate risk for the water system. We expect the results to be replicated at other Wyoming water systems,” Kainrath noted.


“Given the results from the Shoshone Utility Organization water assessment, we validated our premise that much of their risk could be ameliorated with a small investment in time and effort for the system, said Bryan Kainrath, president of MCGA. It is due to these results that we were very willing to conduct another assessment at Wardwell.”


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Media Contacts

WARWS - Mark Pepper, (307) 259-6903, markp@warws.com

MCGA - Kevin Edwards, (703) 653-0596, media@mcgalliance.org



About WARWS

The Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems (WARWS) is a member driven, non-profit Association, affiliated with National Rural Water Association (NRWA). WARWS, NRWA and its state affiliates comprise the largest utility membership organization in the nation representing nearly 31,000 small and rural water and wastewater systems that serve over 1/3 of all Americans.


The mission of Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems is to "provide the assistance necessary to meet the needs of our membership and to ensure the protection of Wyoming's water - our most precious resource. By providing on-site, one-on-one technical assistance and training we can help community elected officials and operators with their commitment and their profession of providing "Quality on Tap!"


About MCGA

Business leaders, government, and industry turn to Mission Critical Global Alliance (MCGA) as a trusted resource in dedicated to enhancing the resilience of mission critical infrastructure through our expertise in advocacy, skills standards development, education, research, workforce development, and professional certifications. MCGA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.



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