Critical infrastructure is a broad term describing both the physical and virtual components that are vital to its existence. Critical infrastructure examples vary based on its sector of the economy and can apply to technology as well as more traditional infrastructure.
These components are so important that the Department of Homeland Security established the Cyber + infrastructure Security Division. By identifying the most important 16 sectors of the economy, they aim to shed light on just how important infrastructure is (and how it should best be protected). These sectors include financial services, healthcare, chemical plants, and nuclear facilities.
Infrastructure is traditionally thought of as physical resources, such as highways or irrigation systems. However, it can also refer to less tangible items. In the same way a nuclear facility needs anti-blast systems and vehicle barriers to protect itself, technology needs firewalls and hardware to function. All critical infrastructure sectors need strong security to ensure the safety of people both in and around the facility and that security also needs to be flexible enough to adapt to modern threats.
If your infrastructure is damaged in any way — regardless of how it happened — it can threaten the security of the entire operation. Protecting critical infrastructure from both natural and man-made disasters is tantamount to the success of the business.
Why Protect Critical Infrastructure
A single event can cause wide-scale destruction if you can't protect your critical infrastructure. If you operate a nuclear facility, you have to go above and beyond when it comes to your critical infrastructure protection plan.
There are so many unknowns to account for when it comes to nuclear facilities. Whether it's a terrorist hacking into the systems or a hurricane with Category 5 winds, there need to be a systematic steps employees can take to keep everything under control. If the operator hasn't thought their security through, they risk far more than the destruction of the plant itself. This is the biggest reason why the Department of Homeland Security created its division.
The threats to critical standards can be serious enough to not only compromise national security but also to cause loss of human life both in and around the area. Investing in facilities that are specifically designed to stave off this kind of destruction could be the difference between a close call and a national emergency. These officials are dedicated to helping operators get the security in place before a devastating event occurs.
Investigating both the private and government sectors, this division assesses critical infrastructure for vulnerabilities. The goal is to tease out its biggest vulnerabilities and help operators get the security they need. However, officials may also issue fines or impose other consequences if there are major gaps in a system. That's why it's important to take care of everything long before an investigation occurs.
Critical infrastructure training starts with having the right tools at your disposal. All nuclear plants have some degree of security in place to keep their equipment and facility safe, but it's not always rigorous enough to hold up against unexpected disasters. If there's not enough planning on the part of the operator, they can unintentionally expose their critical infrastructure to the whims of man and nature.
Contact Kontek Industries for Infrastructure Solutions
Kontek understands what it means to protect the very infrastructure that holds your nuclear plant together. And while it may seem as though you have it all under control, it may not be as secure as you need it to be in the event of a true emergency. If you have questions about how you can improve your critical infrastructure protection, contact Kontek Industries today for more information or to schedule a consultation.