Without them, life as we know it could not be sustained. The 16 Critical Infrastructure sectors underpin everything we do – whether running a business, raising a family, shopping, enjoying our recreational activities, or simply knowing the lights will come on when we flip the switch.
To raise awareness of their importance, and the need to secure them, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month.
The event, observed annually, aims to educate businesses, government entities, and the general public about critical infrastructure, and to engage a variety of stakeholders in addressing the security challenge.
Critical infrastructure, as described by the DHS, provides “the power we use in our homes and businesses, the water we drink, the transportation systems that get us from place to place, the first responders and hospitals in our communities, the farms that grow and raise our food, the stores we shop in, and the Internet and communication systems we rely on to stay in touch with friends and family.”
Not only are these services essential, but they are also vulnerable. The facilities that support them are subject to a growing array of hazards and threats – from aging construction to extreme weather.
They may also be susceptible to cyber attacks that are capable of triggering malfunctions or breakdowns, with potentially catastrophic effects.
With the dawn of the computer era, “power supply stations, water facilities, and many other types of infrastructure were connected to the internet with a degree of open access that is astonishing in retrospect,” says Dr. Robert Campbell, a cybersecurity expert who teaches at Capitol Technology University.
Capitol is home to newly-launched programs in critical infrastructure, including undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The Laurel, MD-based university is recognized nationally as a provider of cybersecurity education, winning repeat designations by the DHS and the National Security Agency (NSA) as a Center of Academic Excellence (Cyber-Defense).
During November, the DHS is offering a variety of resources intended to help close the awareness gap with regard to critical infrastructure, including a downloadable toolkit that contains specific procedures and recommendations.
Among other steps, the DHS is encouraging businesses to conduct training sessions or exercises to improve security and resilience, review and revise business continuity plans and processes, and integrate cybersecurity into facility and operational protective measures.
Interested in building a career in the high-demand field of critical infrastructure, boosting your career credentials, or contributing research to the field? Click here to learn more about degree programs at Capitol, or contact our admissions department at firstname.lastname@example.org.