August 18, 2014 | Category: Cyber Security | Tags: , Views: 2366

What is Critical Infrastructure?

We continually read about articles, blog posts, and directives from the White House addressing the importance of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP).

Yet what are critical infrastructures and why is it important to protect them from cyber attacks? 

A critical infrastructure is…

According the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),

Critical infrastructure are the assets, systems,and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof

Establishing and maintaining constant CIP is essential as an influx of larger more sophisticated cyber attacks take place. The absence of adequate protection leaves the infrastructures, related industries, and U.S. citizens vulnerable to unthinkable damage.

The cyber security analysts, risk managers, and IT security professionals must elevate their skills and experience to catch up with malicious hackers. That’s the current reality the United States faces.

The Target data breach fails in comparison to a potential successful attack on one of these critical infrastructures.

The infrastructures are

  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Communications Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Dams Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food and Agriculture Sector
  • Government Facilities Sector
  • Healthcare and Public Services Sector
  • Information Technology Sector
  • Transportation Systems Sector
  • Water and Wastewater Systems

The full list of officially categorized critical infrastructure sectors is available on DHS’ website. What do most, if not all, of these sectors have in common? Information technology systems plays an integral role in their day-to-day functions.

Envision the chaos in Live Free or Die Hard

As juvenile as it seems, the movie Live Free or Die Hard displays a fictitious yet interesting story depicting an act of cyber terrorism against the U.S. government. The infamous John McClane (Bruce Willis) confronts a mega cyber terrorist and group of hackers who disrupt power grids, transportation systems, and other infrastructures to create a state of chaos and bring U.S. intelligence agencies to their knees. Although, cyber criminals are no match for John McClane.

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