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Blockchain and Digital Twin-based Approach for Securing Water Supply Infrastructure

    Author: Ojus Virendra Tudavekar

    Supervisor: Mubashar Iqbal

    Abstract: Digital Twin (DT), as a virtual representation of physical entities, provides valuable insights into the Cyber-Physical System’s (CPS’s) behavior and characteristics. DT’s capabilities of monitoring, visualizing, testing, and simulating the physical process have been widely used in industrial systems over the years to improve quality and efficiency. Moreover, in this era of increasing digitization, the convergence of water infrastructure and cybersecurity emerges as a critical concern. DT, which is usually seen as a benchmark for generating virtual replicas of real-world objects, holds significant potential in enhancing the security and resilience of the Water CPS. Integrating blockchain and DT technology for industrial systems has recently gained popularity among researchers. There is a dearth of research on using DT to enhance security in Water CPS. In this work, we present an extensive literature review of existing literature on Water CPS where primary security threats, vulnerabilities exploited, and proposed detection mechanisms are analyzed. Moreover, a novel approach of DT integrated with blockchain as an attack deception mechanism is proposed to enhance the security of Water CPS, using the Secure Water Treatment (SWaT) system as a base CPS architecture. Additionally, the attacker models, attack scenarios, and role-based Incident Response Playbooks (IRPs) to contain and mitigate the attacks in Water CPS are showcased. The proposed solution is evaluated using the role-based IRP for various attack scenarios and DT-based simulation with Microsoft Azure Digital Twin Platform.