Defining Criticality in a Networked World: Implications of the Use of Information and Communications Technology for Efforts to Promote the Security and Resilience of Critical Infrastructure

65 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2014

See all articles by Matthew Fleming

Matthew Fleming

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute; Georgetown University

Eric Goldstein

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute

Stephen Abott

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute

Seth Bromberger

NCI Security LLC

Joseph Kendall

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute

Date Written: January 17, 2014

Abstract

Current approaches to critical infrastructure identification/prioritization/assessment may not fully account for the widespread use of information and communications technology (ICT). ICT is used — largely to yield efficiency gains — to connect "systems and assets" (or subsystems and sub-assets) in new and novel and sometimes nonobvious ways. ICT use may also introduce new and novel and sometimes nonobvious intra- and interdependencies and vulnerabilities. Further, ICT may itself provide new and novel services. Therefore, it may be more challenging to identify/prioritize/assess critical infrastructure and to understand the elements within critical infrastructure that enable its viability, in an interconnected, networked world. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute (HSSAI) to begin to answer the following question: What are the implications for the current DHS process of critical infrastructure identification/prioritization/assessment — and, for efforts to promote critical infrastructure security and resilience more generally — of the use of ICT? To answer this question, HSSAI embarked on a program of research. As a first, foundational step, HSSAI assessed three specific research questions: How is ICT currently used in infrastructure? How is ICT use changing (in terms of relevant innovation)? What implications for critical infrastructure identification/prioritization/assessment, and security and resilience more generally, emerge from ICT use and innovation? Guided by two case studies and an examination of near- and medium-term innovations — drawing from a broad review of the literature and semi-structured interviews with engineers, technologists, and others — this paper presents the findings of the research.

Keywords: Critical infrastructure, DHS, ICT

Suggested Citation

Fleming, Matthew and Goldstein, Eric and Abott, Stephen and Bromberger, Seth and Kendall, Joseph, Defining Criticality in a Networked World: Implications of the Use of Information and Communications Technology for Efforts to Promote the Security and Resilience of Critical Infrastructure (January 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519887 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2519887

Matthew Fleming (Contact Author)

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Eric Goldstein

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

Stephen Abott

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

Seth Bromberger

NCI Security LLC ( email )

San Francisco, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ncisecurity.com

Joseph Kendall

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

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