Critical Infrastructure

We all know that infrastructure refers to the goods and services that support the other sectors. The roads, airports, power plants, and communication facilities are the infrastructure which makes our life activities flow seamlessly.  There are some elements of the infrastructure which are so much essential for operations of the economy and government that they are termed as critical infrastructure. According to the International Telecommunication Union, critical infrastructure means the computers, computer systems, and/or networks, whether physical or virtual, and/or the computer programs, computer data, content data and/or traffic data so vital to a country that the incapacity or destruction of or interference with such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national or economic security, national public health and safety, or any combination of those matters.”

The operation of many sectors depends on ICT in a big way and therefore it becomes very important to protect these sectors from cyber threat. Infrastructure which comes under the category of critical infrastructure includes systems and networks from several major sectors such as:

  • Energy, including oil, natural gas, and electric power
  • Banking and finance
  • Transportation
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Water systems
  • Government and private emergency services

The operational stability and security of critical infrastructure is vital for economic security of the country and hence its protection has gained paramount importance all over the globe. There is a paramount need to protect our critical information infrastructures, because the risks are huge, especially in electronic warfare.  The rapid growth of ICTs and societal inter-dependency has led a shift to perception of Critical Information Infrastructure threats and, as a consequence, cyber security has become international agenda. It is crucial to understand the risks that accompany new technologies in order to maximize the benefits. Growing  threats  to  security,  at  the level of  the  individual,  the firms, government and critical  infrastructures,  make  security  everyone’s responsibility.