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An Assessment of the Critical Infrastructure

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An Assessment of the Critical Infrastructure, in Both the Public and Private Sectors, Associated with the Crisis – Homeland Security
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An Assessment of the Critical Infrastructure, in Both the Public and Private Sectors, Associated with the Crisis – Homeland Security.
I. Introduction
Every society has sectors that are the core of its functionality and sustainability. These sectors are usually in the areas of national security, communication, health, food, and water security as well as economic stability. Critical infrastructure is a conglomerate of assets and systems, which take either tangible or virtual form. They are critical for the effective operation of a given economy. These are the services and structures that enable the essential aspects of society to function in different areas such as communication, economy, security or even health. The structures are vital hence they should not be compromised. When there’s interference of the critical infrastructure, it may result in a deterioration of the economy (Forest, 2006).
Homeland security is an important feature of critical infrastructure as it functions in handling matters of its protection (Radvanovsky and McDougall, 2013). Any government has a primary role in protecting the citizens of a given nation. For this reason, the onus of ensuring homeland security is therefore on the government’s shoulders. However, with the numerous and complex nature of modern security, it is clear that homeland security can not only be a function of the government but, other sectors as well (Radvanovsky and McDougall, 2013).

Wait! An Assessment of the Critical Infrastructure paper is just an example!

Therefore, it is salient to note the existence of the role of the private sector. This paper will depict a critical analysis and assessment the current in both the public and private sectors of critical infrastructure. The primary aim is to identify any form of lacuna that has not featured in academic literature.
II. Critical Infrastructure Assurance and Protection
An analysis of the historical background of Critical Infrastructure.
Over the years, the successive governments has noted and flagged several areas of society which are invaluable to the overall existence and sustenance. According to Moteff (2015), the prime areas of critical infrastructure include national economy, health sector, food and water security, as well as national security. To this end, a significantly large part of the state’s infrastructure is governed by the private players (Moteff, 2015). Private stakeholders have invested heavily in the critical areas of infrastructure for a long time. It is due to the available rate of returns that these sectors assure the existence of a ready market. Also, it is because the state cannot fulfill the demand for some of the services on its own (Moteff, 2015).Consequently, the private players play a significant role in stepping up and filling the void.
Each of the structures that form the critical national infrastructure is important. They all perform indispensable roles regarding the ways in which the economy of a given country operates. Due to their necessity in the operations of a nation, these structures have become prime targets for terrorists. For this reason, it becomes imperative to develop a unified approach complete with a comprehensive, all-encompassing strategy that incorporates protection for critical and essential infrastructure.
There is the potential for chaos concerning the determination of those economical structures that are critical but not necessarily essential. It is because the assignment of critical status of a given infrastructure comes with accompanying level of resources to ensure maximum protection of the asset. To ensure that taxpayers resources are appropriately and prudently utilized, it is, therefore, imperative to have a system to determine those areas that are both critical and essential.
This approach gives insight about the historical background and development of critical infrastructure. It was after the vulnerability level of those essential structures that the US government reacted about cyber attacks. In the year 1996, the country incorporated and rolled out the implementation of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program. Later, the strategic program was given legal effect by the subsequent Presidential Decision Directive No. 63, authorized on May 1998 by the then President Bill Clinton. (Moteff, 2015)
In this Directive, the aim was to assess the potential threat to identified critical infrastructure and develop a response strategy to potential incidents and threats toward the structures. It developed units within the state machinery tasked with the responsibility of plan formulation and implementation aimed at ensuring the protection of all state infrastructures. Moreover, this Directive was instrumental because it appreciated the necessity of the private sector in safeguarding critical infrastructure (Moteff, 2005).
Directive No. 63 established a format of structured engagement between the state and the private stakeholders in the form of the National Infrastructure Assurance Plan. This plan’s mandate was to ensure the total and comprehensive safeguarding of all the state’s essential infrastructures by the year 2003. In the same year, the Homeland Presidential Directive-7 was authorized by the US president, George Bush. Its primary function was to designate the coordination mechanism at a national level by setting up a National Infrastructure Protection Plan (McNeill & Richard Weitz, 2010).
Following the extensive threat and destruction occasioned by the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, there was the necessity to realize responsive mechanisms to physical attacks and threats. Consequently, there has been increased policy and legal drafting about critical infrastructure (Sullivant, 2007).
An evaluation of the interdependencies of critical infrastructures
Each of the diverse structures that form the critical national infrastructure is important in its way. The role each plays is indispensable to the operational functioning of the economy thus they are interrelated. Therefore, there is increased recognition of the essence of having synchrony at an operational level of the critical infrastructure. For an effective implementation of the critical infrastructure plan and strategy, there has to exist a method of linkage coherent and collaborative in nature. (Critical Infrastructure Protection Directorate, 1998)
Moreover, there is the need to have appropriate agencies that are responsible for respective sectors. To this end, there is the designation of particular responsibilities to respective setups that then oversee, assess, monitor and implement the strategy about its specific area. Werner, DeSantis and Powell (2000) outline the existence of diverse sectors of critical infrastructure. Also, the structures play different roles and aim to protect those interests of the state. Therefore, it is evident that the various sectors that conglomerate under critical infrastructure are all inter-linked. The linkage is across multi-sector platforms and stretches toward diverse fields of operation. The required steps were taken about the various threats often require a combined and collaborative approach while dealing deal with the crisis (Werner et al., 2000).
By definition, the set-up of the critical infrastructure is a mash-up of diverse sector units, with each performing a critical, and core function. Therefore, it is important to place measures that ensure maximum and unfettered access, the flow of information as well as collaborative insight. As a result, the state encourages a collaborative approach to the notion of critical infrastructure. Accordingly, there is a need to analyze critically and evaluate the level of interdependencies of critical infrastructure. There are several factors that influence the rapid response of critical infrastructure in a given situation (Pederson, Dudenhoeffer and Hartley, 2006).
Over the years, the concept of critical infrastructure has evolved, reflecting the shifting nature of concerns and threats. This dynamism has been vital because it has been debilitating regarding organization and prioritization. As a result, there was the emergence of critical infrastructure. However, in that process, another pattern has emerged. As it is, there is a level of confusion in setting apart critical from the essential sectors (Pederson et al., 2006). The issue has brought a lot of difficulties apropos of policy direction, development of performance indicators and coordination mechanisms (Miller, 2009).
For this reason, it is necessary to observe the efforts at merging and clarification of the concepts informing critical infrastructure. The aim should be to develop a lean and compact interdependent unit of critical infrastructure (Miller, 2009).
III. Critical Infrastructure Networked interdependencies of Critical Infrastructure & National Response Framework (NRF)
Critical Infrastructure Networked interdependencies
According to Lazari (2014), each of the diverse structures that form the critical national infrastructure is significant. The critical role of each structure is invaluable in as far as the operational functioning of the economy is concerned. With this background, therefore, there is an inevitable nexus between the sectors that join them in the process resulting in connection (Lazari, 2014). The successive administrations have understood the importance and essence of ensuring a unified, cohesive, collaborative and synchronized approach at an operational level of the critical infrastructure (Lazari, 2014).
After the stark realization of the emergence of serious threats to national systems, networks, and systems, the Clinton administration reacted proactively with a Presidential Decision Directive in the month of May 1998. The Presidential Decision Directive Number 63 of 1998 is the direct result of the emerging physical and cyber-attack threats to the United States national assets and systems. There was enough foresight in the drafting of this Directive such that it set itself the target of ensuring the complete and comprehensive protection of all the major, identified critical assets by the year 2003. The Directive was crucial because it identified the purpose of the private sector regarding protection of the critical national infrastructure. It was by establishing the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). Moreover, this plan had the express mandate of ensuring comprehensive assessment, monitoring and identification of necessary measures to assure protection of the critical national infrastructure (Lopez, Setola and Wolthusen, 2012).
In the year 2003, in the administration of George W Bush, there was the ratification of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7. It had an expanded mandate of ensuring coordination and collaboration of the various efforts involved in the protection of critical infrastructure. The important highlight of Directive 7 is the realization of the interdependence of the various sectors within the wider scope of the critical infrastructure (Lewis, 2006). Later, the Directive realized the need to address the coordination inefficiencies that inevitably come up because of the multi-sector form of critical infrastructure.
The chaotic situation is prevalent in the relationships within the structures that form the critical infrastructure is a direct result of the expansion of the scope of the definition of critical structures. Due to the fluid nature of the threats and security concerns, there has been a corresponding shift in the approach to the administration. It is important for the administration to avoid any form of rigidity. Rigid approaches often pose serious threats to the national security of critical infrastructure (Lazari, 2014). To this end, there has been a proliferation of ambiguities as far as classification of critical infrastructure is concerned. As such, the interdependency of this infrastructure is put to the test, especially in the area of collaboration and coordination.
September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States were a gauge of the level of preparedness and coordination. It was a tragic reminder of the importance of consolidation and efforts of various sectors. Also, it was a blueprint of the need for a more effective interdependency within the sectors forming the critical infrastructure. The Bush administration in Directive 7, not only formed the basis for the development of National Infrastructure Plan but, also designated the Secretary of Homeland Security. It had the responsibility of coordinating those measures related to protection of critical infrastructure.
An analysis of Critical Infrastructure National Response Framework (NRF)
It is necessary to protect critical infrastructure with utmost keenness. The sector is crucial to a country’s economy thus it is part of the most important sectors of a nation. The existence and wellbeing of the citizens are dependent on these vital, critical infrastructures. The areas are essential in various sectors of the country such as communication, national health, food, and water or national security. Increasingly in the recent past, there has been a marked rise of attacks and incidents that have the potential of seriously debilitating the entire economy and its operations. This is an area of major concern (Flammini, 2012).
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, were the epitome of the physical threat often posed to the critical national infrastructure. As a matter of fact, this attack went beyond forms of physical devastation. It was an attack on the national psyche; a searing of the nation’s conscience. More than any other singular occurrence in America, this act of terrorism undermined the protection of critical infrastructure (Papa, 2008). The nation’s vulnerability was laid bare, and it strongly highlighted the necessity of a robust, responsive, proactive and coordinated structure to assure protection of critical national infrastructure.
Furthermore, there has been a response regarding the systematic approach of identifying and consolidating the vital sectors of critical infrastructure. This is legally derived from the Directive No. 7 authorized by President Bush. It enabled the establishment and incorporation of a structured approach to ensure coordination and a unified approach responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure.
Lopez et al. (2012) outlined that the National Response Framework (NRF) lies within the National scope on Homeland Security. The Framework acts a blueprint and provides direction regarding the features and principles that elaborate the ways in which all relevant stakeholders; assess, monitor, prepare and respond to serious threats against the critical national infrastructure. During the September 11 attacks, there was a frenzied proliferation of policies and legislation towards protection of the national assets. This led to the Presidential
Directive No. 5 and No. 8 which formed the Comprehensive Emergency Management (CEM). As a result, there was the establishment of the National Response Plan (NRP). On the 22nd of March the year 2008, there was the establishment of the NRF, which replaced the plan above.
The critical infrastructure’s mandate, NRF, is grouped in various parts. It has the primary responsibility of ensuring more structured, collaborative, and engaged interaction between the stakeholders to ascertain enough coordination. Moreover, the Framework ensures there is enough, scalable and flexible capacity at an operational level. Additionally, the Framework assures a unified command structure, with a clear flow of power in the hierarchy. Lastly, the Framework has the mandate of ensuring a timely response that is appropriate and equal to the level of threat (Givens & Bush, 2013).
The Framework is elaborately designed with relevant major diverse protocols that cater for the various angles representing the arms of critical infrastructure. They range from firefighting, disaster preparedness, logistics management, to search and rescue and external affairs.
I. Critical Infrastructure Public Private Partnerships, including Critical Infrastructure Data Acquisition, Intelligence, and Information Sharing
An evaluation of Public-private partnerships in critical infrastructure protection and assurance
The state remains a custodian of the security of its citizens regarding protection of critical infrastructure. The government’s primary duty is to guarantee the provision of security- in all its forms- to its people. The essential nature of the sectors within the critical infrastructure ranges from national health, food and water security, communication, and national security. The core functional and operational capacities of the nation depend on the sectors above. The implication is that safeguarding of critical infrastructure is necessary and extremely important (Das, Kant & Zhang, 2012).
The public has placed high levels of investment in various sectors of the economy. Consequently, any instance of compromise puts the nation at the stake of dire consequences. For this reason, the administration has earmarked the areas of focus for critical assets, networks and systems and dedicated resources- time and manpower- to ensure their maximum protection (Das et al., 2012).
With this as a background, the recent threats and incidences have resulted in other issues. The threat posed to the nation’s critical assets is complex and to a great extent multi-pronged. As a result, a unilateral approach is bound due to prior instances. President Clinton’s administration is documented as the first to acknowledge the futility of this approach. It took the first measure aimed at roping in the endorsement, and input by the private players regarding the safeguarding of critical infrastructure.
The Presidential Decision Directive No. 63 of 1998, provided for the rise of a structured format of dialogue and coordinating a partnership between the public and private sectors. The Directive provided the framework for instigation of the NIPP. This document was a product of protracted negotiations and deliberations, where the various arms of government, the relevant private stakeholders, and the American populace had to compromise and agree on certain terms of reference. This provided the necessary parameters governing the public-private partnership aimed at safeguarding of critical infrastructure of the nation. It is salient to note that there had been reluctance to engage the private players in matters critical infrastructure. This novice established was an indication of the weakness and inefficiency of a singular, state approach to critical infrastructure protection. The partnership has indeed demonstrated clear effect and impact to this end (Cordesman & Cordesman, 2002).
There has been a marked consolidation of efforts due to the improved communication within the sectors. Previously, there was no coordinated approach and dissemination of information regarding a serious threat to critical infrastructure. With the public-private partnership, there has been an enhanced rate of efficiency, which has achieved the purpose faster due to the coordination (Miller, 2009).
An analysis of Critical Infrastructure emergency preparedness and readiness
Critical infrastructure represents crucial features of invaluable value to the citizens and the country as a whole. The diverse sectors represented in the major arms forming critical infrastructure are extremely vital to the existence and sustenance of the nation. For this reason, there was enough motivation to identify areas that are part of the critical infrastructure.
It is necessary to implement sufficient measures and strategies that identify, assess, monitor and collect relevant information and data. This information relates to the ways of ensuring a coordinated, rapid and sufficient response. The historical background reveals a deficiency regarding the ways in which the previous administration handled various threats and emergencies to the critical infrastructure. Before the September 11th attacks, there was a markedly poor critical infrastructure emergency preparedness and readiness. In fact, it is on record that Clinton’s Presidential Directive No. 39 was a reaction to the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City (Papa, 2008).
In the wake of this attack, the Directive sought to have a government-led evaluation and assessment of the nation’s adequacy of disaster and emergency preparedness and the capacity to respond. The Attorney General, whom the onus fell on, conducted this analysis. The results were an indictment of the state of the nation’s level of disaster preparedness and response capacity. There were numerous significant deficiencies that emerged.
With an ever increasing number of vital infrastructures controlled by the private sector, any threat of incident to the sector will not only be a state loss but, also a private one. For this reason, it is evident that there is a need to have a coordinated infrastructure disaster preparedness and response mechanism (Butts & Shenoi, 2013).
It is a matter of fact that the existential nature of threats is changing apropos of time. The modern threat is more pervasive and innovative, hastily adopting newer forms and variations. As a result, there should be an existence of a robust and responsive mechanism for identifying those threats. With this done, there has to be a robust critical infrastructure emergency preparedness and readiness mechanism. After the September 11 attacks, there has been a marked improvement in the level of critical infrastructure emergency preparedness and readiness in the country (Sullivant, 2007).
First, the Presidential Directive 63 established the Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan (CIP). The Directive is under the state Department of Defense and acts as the primary unit that focuses and coordinates all efforts of critical infrastructure emergency preparedness and response. The first responsibility is the constant and continuous critical infrastructure analysis and assessment which is carried out in a periodic, systematic structure. The next mandate is an issuance of indicators and warning. Additionally, this is carried out through a method of data collection and analysis in coordination with other relevant arms of the state. It is an essential role regarding forecasting that is found in the area of preparation for critical infrastructure emergencies. After preparedness, the body engages in mitigation efforts, with the proactive aim of containing the harmful effects of potential threats to critical infrastructure. The last function is critical infrastructure emergency response. Therefore, the critical infrastructure emergency preparedness and readiness of the nation is improved initiating a shifting nature in threats to the critical infrastructure (Butts & Shenoi, 2013).
II. Critical Infrastructure Emergency Preparedness and Readiness, Critical Infrastructure Security Vulnerability Assessment & Critical Infrastructure Regulation.
An examination of Critical infrastructure security vulnerability risk assessment guidelines
The various, diverse sectors that form critical infrastructure represent the vital areas to the economy. The critical infrastructure is a snapshot analysis of those areas that are indispensable to the daily undertakings and operations of the public. Moreover, the state has, through the federal and national governments gone to great lengths in committing resources, time and manpower of infinite proportions, to ensure all these sectors of critical infrastructure are performing at optimal levels at all times (Lewis, 2006).
Also, the private players and citizens have in their capacity, invested heavily in key areas of critical infrastructure. The amount of committed manpower, time, and resources by private players in these areas is immense. For these reasons, the critical infrastructure becomes a particularly attractive prospect as a target for terrorist and other similar clandestine attacks. There is a great need to provide more robust, vibrant and up to date protection mechanisms and measures for the sector of critical infrastructure.
Those state organs charged with the direct responsibility of safeguarding the critical infrastructure. The focus is on mechanisms that assess the level of risk vulnerability concerning critical infrastructure. The aim is to develop and appreciate the level of threats, the degree of vulnerability and the accompanying potential consequences.
Also, after the September 11 attacks, a commission of inquiry recognized a loophole that was the assessment of vulnerability risk. The commission conducted an evaluation and analysis of the security situation in the country and came up with recommendations. About vulnerability risk analysis, the commission recommended a shift to the manner in which the decisions are touching on the protection of critical infrastructure are informed (Pederson et al., 2006). The resolution was to let the decisions be informed by risk assessment reports. As a matter of fact, this was in line with the existing policy guidelines concerning the protection of the country’s critical infrastructure.
It is in the United States where the Homeland Security Department is mandated with the direct task of coordinating and directing the assessment of the level of threat, risks, and exposure of critical infrastructure. It also functions in ensuring that the responses are made accordingly. This is courtesy of the Homeland Security Act was instigated in 2002, as a clear reaction to September 11th. It was started together with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 7. In practice, it is through coordination with the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIP) that the Ministry of Homeland Security ministry discharges the mandate. (Radvanovsky & McDougall, 2013).
The vulnerability risk assessment guidelines for critical infrastructure security are therefore carried out by the Homeland Security Department. They include identification of assets while determining which are critical, the identification and classification of threats, assessment of the degree of vulnerability of critical infrastructure, analysis of the type of risks faced by different critical infrastructures and identifying those methods that are minimizing the risks (Radvanovsky & McDougall, 2013)..
An evaluation of critical infrastructure regulations and public accountability
As prior mentioned, critical infrastructure represents those crucial features that are necessary to citizens and the country as a whole. The diverse sectors represented in the major arms forming critical infrastructure- ranging from the national health to the vital docket of national security, are extremely vital to the existence and sustenance of a given nation. As a matter of fact, it is this reason that forms the motivation for the identification of the critical infrastructure.
Therefore, it is necessary to note that there is a need to ensure the existence of robust, responsive and timely measures towards ensuring the protection of critical infrastructure. It is a beneficial strategy to the country, more so, its economy. With the adequate protection of the critical infrastructure, the economy of a given country is assured of great progress. Conversely, when a given nation experiences attacks to assets of critical importance, there are extreme effects that often interfere with the operational activities of the nation (Lazari, 2014).
For this reason, it is necessary to have responsive and effective protection mechanisms for the critical infrastructure. The critical infrastructure of a given nation is guaranteed protection by passing a legislature for those laws. It is the Homeland Security Department that plays the role of ensuring that the critical infrastructure is safe from threat. The various departments vest all coordination and risk vulnerability assessment duties on the department mentioned above, with specific powers vested in the Homeland Security Secretary. The regulation that gives legal authority of protection of critical infrastructure to this department is the Homeland Security Act, passed in 2002, after the September 11th attacks. Therefore, these documents form the backbone of regulations concerning the safety of the critical infrastructure in the US (Werner et al., 2000).
As for public accountability, it is necessary to conduct an evaluation of the role of the private citizen in the protection of the critical infrastructure. Due to the important nature of the sectors forming critical infrastructure, the State has ensured the protection of critical infrastructure to the highest level possible. Similarly, private players have invested heavily in the sectors. It, therefore, translates that both the public and the state are responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure.
With this background, therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the role and place of the private citizen in protecting critical infrastructure. As aforementioned, the private citizens have been greatly involved in critical infrastructure for a long time. On a technical level, there are many difficulties that emerge in the pursuit of that perfect public-private union. It is salient to note that each part plays a distinct role to play about the safekeeping of critical infrastructure. In fact, it is those rules that determine public accountability (Radvanovsky & McDougall, 2013).
As far as the responsibilities of each party are concerned, the government mostly plays the role of regulator, coming up with policies and creating an environment that enables the business fraternity to invest amicably. It is in the interest of the government to encourage the private players to invest more in critical infrastructure. As a result, this will occupy the financial deficit gaps that tend to beset the government (Gopalakrishnan & Peeta, 2010).
III. Critical Infrastructure Information; An analysis of critical infrastructure data acquisition, intelligence, and information sharing
There is no modern society that can function without any of the key sectors of critical infrastructure. To this end, the moment there is a breach or attack to one of those areas; there exist negative effects that often spread to all the other sectors. A serious attack or compromise of a key critical infrastructure in one state may spread to other neighboring countries.
The level of investment of manpower, time and resources present in the critical infrastructure by the state and private players is immeasurable. It is due to its necessity that critical infrastructure greatly improves the economic landscape. For this reason, the critical infrastructures become prime targets for terrorist attacks. Similarly, they become prime targets for cyber-attacks. There is a great significance of the internet in operations and day to day transactions of the populace thus cyber-attacks may result in immense losses. (Lopez et al., 2012).
In consequence, it becomes paramount to guarantee maximum protection and safeguarding of the critical infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of the Homeland Security Secretary works within tight budgets to ensure implementation of strategies that include risk management, assessment and management of possible threats, the degree of vulnerability and the containment of the consequences. In its bid to effectively carry out this mandate, the Homeland Security department is required to create a working relationship with the more specialized IAIP Directorate.
The aim here is to ensure critical infrastructure data acquisition, intelligence, and information sharing at a large, sustained and long-term level, with the highest degree of discretion possible. Miller (2009) observes that through the specialized units within the structure of the IAIP Directorate, there is sufficient, the requisite level of combination and deciphering of possible, legitimate threats, assessment of the level of vulnerability and the appropriate mitigation measures. The comprehensive risk vulnerability assessment is used to inform the subsequent course of action by the relevant bodies. In the practical setting, the critical infrastructure data and intelligence are acquired through a formal structure of information sharing. It is done through an intricate web of sourcing, which is mostly discreet and anonymous for the purpose of ensuring maximum disclosure (Miller, 2009).
Globally, the critical infrastructure information and assurance concepts are in many ways similar in structure to the United States approach. However, there are inevitable adjustments modifications to improve the specific area of jurisdiction. Moreover, this is informed by the rationale that the level of threat and vulnerability is largely similar to the modern global threats increasingly being similar and even intertwined. The scale, scope and degree of threat vary depending on the particular jurisdiction in question. However, the nature of those threats and concerns transcend boundaries, with the enemy becoming increasingly singular and familiar.
To this end, the global context of the critical infrastructure information and assurance concepts is one that is informed by the same threats and global concerns. This position is informed on certain grounds present on a global scale. It is important to realize that full protection of critical infrastructure is still a conundrum all over the world (Gopalakrishnan & Peeta, 2010). The levels of threats and vulnerability are varied hence there are different approaches to confronting the situations arising.
Nonetheless, there are three major approaches applied in different jurisdictions by the various administrations in the effort to ensure the safeguarding of critical infrastructure. The first one is the Critical Information Infrastructure Protection model, which entails the protection of information technology infrastructure. Additionally, there is the “All Hazards” approach that protects both the information technology as well as physical infrastructure. The other approach is the structure that focuses the protection of those systems and organs of government and to a lesser extent, the state critical infrastructures (Gopalakrishnan & Peeta, 2010).
IV. Conclusion
In any state, there are several sectors of the economy that are critical to the day to day operations of its people. These sectors form critical infrastructure. They range from the national transport network, national communication, health all the way to the key sector that is national security. Evidently, the core function of these areas is dependent on the government placing immense importance to their efficient operations. The reliance of the citizens in these critical infrastructures makes them particularly attractive for potential attack. For this reason, it becomes imperative to have sufficient protection and safeguards accorded to critical infrastructure.
There is an analysis of the critical infrastructure, both from a public and private perspective, as far as homeland security is concerned. The introduction of the concept of critical infrastructure was tied to the specific sector of homeland security. Additionally, it focused on the past, analyzing the historical background, and observing the interdependencies between the various sectors within the larger critical infrastructure. Moreover, there was an evaluation of the National Response Framework and the vulnerability risk assessment guidelines as well as the regulations and public accountability.
Also, there was an examination of the global context in relation to critical infrastructure and assurance concepts. In the final analysis, it emerges that there is a possible loophole. It exists in the area of the legislation that governs safeguarding of critical infrastructure. In the United States, there is a haphazard conglomerate of regulations that serve to create a situation of ambiguity and confusion with respect to the regulation of protective measures of critical infrastructure.
It is also necessary to acknowledge presence of the critical infrastructure working group that functions to continually safeguard critical infrastructures. According to the members, there are eight specific areas of critical infrastructure. They identified them as water supply, banking and finance, emergency services, telecommunications, gas and oil, government continuation and electricity. Each of the seven members undertakes specific responsibilities on a daily basis the for development of the critical infrastructure. The working group has an overall leader who supervises work and tasks awarded to the others. The group’s objective was to eradicate all forms of threat toward critical infrastructure. As aforementioned, the main threat to critical infrastructure is inclined toward terrorism and terrorist attacks. However, the group was initiated to have its focus on other different threats as well. Some of the other threats are inclined toward physical and cyberattacks that emanate from different areas.
As a matter of fact, the chair lady of the group, managed to track down those individuals that were involved in cyber malice and attacks. Most of those individuals used cyber technology in executing fraudulent activities. Also, those individuals aimed at destroying any form of communication via computer means.
Just like the group strives to protect critical infrastructure, citizens of a given nation should also consider emulating the art of patriotism.
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