Critical Infrastructure Security – Why Does it Matter?

What is critical infrastructure security? Why does its security matter? In short, critical infrastructure refers to all the essential concerns to do with the physical and virtual protection of systems that make or break the well-being of society and its economic grounds as a whole.

What Is Critical Infrastructure

These kinds of critical infrastructures are needed to ensure the smooth operations of security, facilities, systems, and more. It gives a country or nation all the safety it needs to thrive. It can range from health, monetary gain, online privacy protection, and more. This guide highlights the absolute importance of critical infrastructure and why it is needed. 

What is Critical Infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure security is the concerning area encompassing the security of frameworks, organizations, and resources whose persistent performance is considered significant. This is to guarantee the security of a given country, its economy, and the general public’s well-being or potential security.

Energy, healthcare, transportation, water supply, communication systems, financial services, emergency systems, and defense are all examples of critical infrastructure. Even though critical industries are virtually identical across all nations, they may differ according to a nation’s requirements, resources, and stage of development.

Are There Any Setbacks to it?

There are many benefits and necessary needs for critical infrastructure security, however, there are equally as many security threats associated with it. The number of sectors controlled within the critical infrastructure unit is massive. Infrastructure security is to maintain sectors under health facilities, power plants, IoT devices, and more. 

Although, flaws have to be considered other than focusing on the importance of critical infrastructure security. For instance, the fact that they’re labeled as critical means that updates to them won’t be so easy to maintain. Plus, most of the sectors are controlled by private firms, which means it’s much more complicated to secure by the government. 

Bruce Schneier, a security expert, gave his input on the matter.  His opinion was that there are bigger critical infrastructure security threats, which are not frequently associated with targeted equipment destruction attacks. It mainly focuses on malware invasions that can take down all important systems. This could cause some serious damage. 

16 Critical Infrastructure Security Sectors

There are around 16 sectors of critical infrastructure. However, it completely depends on the country you’re in. Also, these sectors intermingle and are dependent on one another. This ensures the solid functioning and performance of critical infrastructures. 

This way, the operation and functioning of the country, the government, the economy, and the society are smooth. With that said, here are the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, namely in the US: 

  • Chemical sector 
  • Communication sector 
  • Dams sector 
  • Energy sector 
  • Commercial facilities 
  • Financial services 
  • Healthcare and public health 
  • Nuclear reactors, waste, and materials sector 
  • Emergency services 
  • Critical manufacturing sector 
  • Defense industrial base sector 
  • Transportation systems 
  • Water and wastewater systems 
  • Government facilities 
  • Food and Agriculture 
  • Information technology 

FAQs - Critical Infrastructure Security

What are the 3 main types of critical infrastructure?

The 3 main and primary areas of critical infrastructure include energy, bridges and tunnels, and drinking water.

Why is physical security important to critical infrastructure?

Physical security for Critical infrastructure is crucial for ensuring that all people, facilities, and assets of the country are kept secure from any physical and virtual threats.

Are healthcare facilities not considered to be part of critical infrastructure?

Healthcare facilities are a huge part of critical infrastructure to ensure that the well-being and health of the public or citizens are taken care of.

What are the 3 elements of critical infrastructure?

The three primary elements of critical infrastructure are identified as physical, cyber, and human. The three are always integrated at every step of the framework, as deemed fit.

What critical infrastructure sectors are targeted for cyberattacks?

The highest critical infrastructure sectors that are at the highest risk for cyberattacks include water, transportation systems, wastewater, agriculture, energy, and healthcare sectors.

How do you protect critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks?

Education and constant information are the key factors to ensure a solid start for creating cybersecurity measures against attacks on the critical infrastructure of any country or nation.

What is the purpose of critical infrastructure?

The purpose of critical infrastructure security is for the protection and smooth operations of the country, the government, facilities, and the health of its people. It varies from the economy, medical, water, power plants, and more.

Is there a critical infrastructure defense program?

Yes, there is. In the United States, there is a program called DoD (Department of Defense) that aims to educate the general public and every single force that the country benefits from. This could include both the private and public sectors.

Bottom Line – Why Does Critical Infrastructure Security Matter?

You now know what critical infrastructure is and how it helps to make or break a society, the country, and other essential aspects of your country. However, is critical infrastructure security safe? Are they prone to cyberattacks? 

Yes, at times, the damage is pretty hard. Any attack on the infrastructure always has significant consequences. This puts a damper on the effective operation of public health or its citizen’s safety. For this reason, maintaining solid critical infrastructure security is essential for both private sectors and federal agencies. 

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