One undisputable fact regards the significant role that the critical infrastructure plays in the provision of crucial services that a society needs for it thrive. For example, the power and water used in homes, security, transport and communication networks, and shopping stores among others together offer a society a good infrastructural base (Clark & Hakim, 2017). Therefore, the following paper is keen in addressing some of main challenges to safeguard the United States’ critical infrastructure. It is based on the thesis statement; ‘Critical infrastructure is fragile and sensitive to people’s needs therefore, should be accorded an enduring protection at all times in America and the rest of the world’.
In addressing the challenges that America encounters in its effort to protect the critical infrastructure, one should bear in mind the following useful questions; first, what does America consider as a critical infrastructure? Secondly, as a citizen of the United States, are you part of the solution or problem in safeguarding the infrastructure? Lastly, are measures put in place effective to offer a coordinated national effort in managing risks associated with critical infrastructure? It is not an easy task building critical infrastructure in any nation. Therefore, it requires a combined effort from both the government and all stakeholders in ensuring its safety and proper use as stipulated.
In overall, America currently possesses almost sixteen critical infrastructure sectors which it deems essential to its economy. Its critical infrastructure includes; utilities, refineries, military defense systems, water and electricity among other facilities it relies on every day. It means that the destruction or incapacitation would have a significant negative effect on security, public health and economic security among others (Clark & Hakim, 2017). In ensuring that its critical infrastructure is safe, it has established the office of Infrastructure Protection (IP). The office is mandated in leading the combined national effort in controlling potential risks to its critical infrastructure. As a result, the nation has been able to provide an enhanced security in America’s physical and cyber infrastructure.
Challenges of protecting America’s critical infrastructure
First, the America’s critical infrastructure faces a major problem of hackers who steal confidential and sensitive information, interfere with processes and destroy much equipment. For instance, Industrial Control System modules of the HAVEX Trojan that got recently discovered offer a good example. The malware infected many of the America’s critical facilities simply by fixing itself to the crucial software updates (Zio, 2016). The attack is a significant threat especially to the production of sensitive and confidential information. One of the critical infrastructure affected the threat from the hackers involves the military defense system. For example, the hackers steal useful information thus derailing the strategies designed by the military officers.
Secondly, America’s critical infrastructure faces the constant terrorists’ attacks. It has emerged as a potential challenge to infrastructure besides affecting the private sectors. The possibility and impacts of a terrorist attacks could be determined by a range of strategies created by the nation’s executive team of experts (Zio, 2016). The uncertainty involved in knowing when a terrorists attack would take place has made the possibility of future terrorist events difficult to predict. This way, there has been an increased difficulty in ascertaining the efficiency of economic public infrastructure.
Finally, America like any other nation needs efficient and reliable infrastructure for well performance of its functions. As pointed in the thesis; ‘Critical infrastructure is fragile and sensitive to people’s needs therefore, should be accorded an enduring protection at all times in America and the rest of the world’, critical infrastructure is susceptible to challenges posed by hackers and terrorist attacks. Therefore, due to uncertainty of predicting a likelihood attack and destruction; there is a need for coordinated national efforts to help in managing the challenges.
Clark, R. M., & Hakim, S. (2017). Protecting Critical Infrastructure at the State, Provincial, and Local Level: Issues in Cyber-Physical Security. In Cyber-Physical Security (pp. 1-17). Springer International Publishing.
Zio, E. (2016). Challenges in the vulnerability and risk analysis of critical infrastructures. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 152, 137-150.