Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection
The efficient operation of any city in the world depends on the level of the infrastructure that is available, indeed even the far removed areas from the city can only be categorized as accessible and habitable with the introduction of the necessary infrastructure. Infrastructure has been the yardstick for measuring the level of civilization in any part of the world, with regions that lack basic infrastructure like roads, electricity, communication, means of transport among others being categorized as uncivilized or yet to be civilized. The economic categorization also hinges its definition on the amount and quality of infrastructure that a region or a country has, with those with most sophisticated infrastructure considered to be developed and those with the least considered as developing or underdeveloped regions/nations (O’Conor T., 2014).
Apparently, the infrastructures, in most cases are interconnected for them to function significantly well. The infrastructure in the contemporary society support each other to achieve the bigger picture of ensuring service is delivered to the residents. Electricity connection and distribution infrastructure for instance, is connected to the communication system in the U.S. In that without the power, most communication systems will be left useless within a matter of hours. These two can also be said to be connected to the security systems in place like the satellite dishes and radars which are critical infrastructure in the current U.S. For security. If the electricity network is interrupted, resulting to tampering with the communication system, the security infrastructure will as well be down in a short while since the information and signals transmitted by these security platforms will not be received and read at the necessary centers due to breakdown in communication systems. This brings in the third connection which is air transport, an important facet of transport in the modern U.S.. With the breakdown of communication, such that signals cannot be received at the control rooms, the air transport will also be grounded since there would be no way of communicating to the airplane the right information on takeoffs and landing and the same will happen to electric trains. This interconnection goes on a long way hence the need to have the increase in vulnerabilities of the critical infrastructure where there can be an attack on one significant infrastructure with the target on the related infrastructure.
Due to the sensitive nature and interconnection of the critical infrastructure as depicted here above, there in need to have strict and tight critical infrastructure protection (CIP). Each nation needs to have in place management system of the infrastructure that will ensure safety within the region and beyond. The wide ranging effect of CIP means that there is need to have a decentralized management model to handle the infrastructure. There are several reasons that support this kind of management on critical infrastructure one being that the centralization of the management will make the entire infrastructure just as vulnerable as the management system, a centralized management system can easily be disrupted by external forces that intentionally do that or through internal system failures, with no alternative center tor resort to, the entire infrastructure could be rendered useless or operating below the capacity. A decentralized management will also ensure good coordination and communication between the branches hence ease in solving challenges across the country. The decentralized management will also ensure that burden has been eased from one center only hence bringing in more efficiency in handling infrastructure even in far removed places through the branches. The decentralized management will also ensure that the expansion of the infrastructures to other regions that have not been covered is done with relative ease and speedily so as opposed to centralized management that may take time to realize the need for the infrastructure in some regions. Crisis management will also be more efficient since the different branches will readily know where there is a fault and execute corrective measures faster than when the system is centralized (Manuel Suter, 2007).
The energy sector is a central and critical infrastructure that if interrupted can cause the economy of the nation or a state or a town to significantly suffer. The power that ensures the whole of the U.S. is running in terms of communication equipment and the offices is often sourced from the hydroelectric dams and one of them is in my region, Kansas. There is an absolute dependency on power such that any slight interruption would stall all sectors, ranging from the private home user to the traffic standstill along the highways and the electric train transport systems. That stalling of the transport system would effectively mean the economy would be negatively affected as well hence affecting a wider population. This hydro electric dam is well protected especially after the 9/11 attack, with the tight electric fence around the power station. There is also a continuous patrol that goes on 24 hours with armed security manning the entrance to the plant. There are also security checks that one has to go through when accessing the plant and these must be authorized persons, hence the facility is sufficiently protected.
Manuel Suter, (2007). A Generic National Framework For Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP). Retrieved April 18, 2015 from http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/cyb/cybersecurity/docs/generic-national-framework-for-ciip.pdf
O’Conor T., (2014). The Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructure. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from http://drtomoconnor.com/3430/3430lect01a.htm
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