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Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) is a concept that relates to the preparedness and response to serious incidents that involve the critical infrastructure of a region or nation. The systems and networks that make up the infrastructure of society are often taken for granted, yet a disruption to just one of those systems can have dire consequences across other sectors.

Take, for example, a computer virus that disrupts the distribution of natural gas across a region. This could lead to a consequential reduction in electrical power generation, which in turn leads to the forced shutdown of computerized controls and communications. Road traffic, air traffic, and rail transportation might then become affected. Emergency services might also be hampered.

An entire region can become debilitated because some critical elements in the infrastructure become disabled through natural disaster. While potentially in contravention of the Geneva Conventions, military forces have also recognized that it can cripple an enemy's ability to resist by attacking key elements of its civilian and military infrastructure.

The US federal government has developed a standardized description of critical infrastructure, in order to facilitate monitoring and preparation for disabling events. The government requires private industry in each critical economic sector to:

Assess its vulnerabilities to both physical or cyber attacks

Plan to eliminate significant vulnerabilities

Develop systems to identify and prevent attempted attacks

Alert, contain and rebuff attacks and then rebuild essential capabilities in the aftermath

Developing a CIP plan and capability needs the services of SMEs who understand the threats and resources needed to mitigate the threats and develop response and recovery programs in case of an attack. IPS can be of service to your CIP program goals.


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