Critical infrastructure vulnerability has become a significant issue in the US that requires high protection from cyberattacks, terrorist activities, and natural disasters. Today, the US is interested in protecting its critical infrastructure at all costs. Critical infrastructure refers to systems that are necessary for a society and its economy operation. They include communication systems, transport networks, water supplies, and energy grids. These infrastructures remain susceptible to a number of risks like cyber-attacks, natural calamities, and terrorism. Therefore, it is imperative that the USA should prioritize safeguarding its critical infrastructures because they form a vital part of the stability, security, and integrity of the United States.
One of the ways the US can use to protect its critical infrastructure is through increased cyber security measures. With the advancement of technology and technological devices comes greater risk posed by cyber criminals. Critical infrastructures like traffic systems, energy grids, and banks are very prone to cyber terrorism and attacks (Yu et al., 2021). Such attacks may lead to a major breakdown of necessary services offered by these critical systems, leading to huge economic losses as well as a threat to public safety. The US should strengthen its cyber security strategies so as to block any interferences with these systems.
In addition, there has been a significant growth of government-sponsored hacking groups and cybercriminals. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the USA remains ahead in cyber capability aspect by investing in advanced technologies such as big data analytics, data mining, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and the like to be able to detect and react to any threats (Yu et al., 2021). Moreover, heightened cyber security measures will also help build confidence in the citizens with regards to the systems of national critical infrastructure. People will be confident with using such services, knowing that their personal information and confidential details cannot fall into the hands of criminals. Therefore, to boost their cyber security, the US should strengthen their network security protocols, frequently update their software, and implement robust firewalls which can significantly prevent any unauthorized access to their critical systems.
Another way to protect critical infrastructure is through physical security. Critical infrastructure systems such as energy grids, water, supplies and communication systems can be guarded physically to avoid any potential harm or attack (Andrew, 2020). Serious security measures can be taken against possible occurrences such as sabotage or terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure. A cyber-attack on energy grids can lead to widespread blackout, and this can seriously affect the nation’s operations. Moreover, an attack on communication systems can destabilize nationwide communication and this can have a significant effect on the nation’s security (Andrew, 2020). Therefore, it is important for the US to put in place physical security to guard their critical infrastructure against possible and evolving threats. This can be done through physical protection measures such as installing surveillance cameras, hiring trained security personnel, and instituting access control measures to enhance physical protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure. The US can maintain its national security by making good investments in robust security measures that are constantly updated to deal with current evolving dangers to ensure its national security.
As mentioned earlier, critical infrastructures are susceptible to various threats including natural disasters. Therefore, the US can protect its critical infrastructures from such disasters by capitalizing on redundancy and backup systems. Safeguarding the nation’s critical systems means saving huge costs for an economy (Alcaide & Llave, 2020). The country’s industry and commerce rely heavily on critical infrastructures. Therefore, any interruption may lead to loss of finances, stalling of the economy, and a threat to the US security. An example would be an attack on transport networks, which would mess up supply chains and delay the delivery of products and services. It would also affect security because of the lack of transport systems. Therefore, it is important to have backup systems in every sector to ensure that all critical systems are running efficiently (Alcaide & Llave, 2020). Investing in on redundancy and backup systems will come in handy in reducing the impact of disruptions that may be caused by natural disasters. It is also important to have redundant power grids and duplicate communication lines to allow another system to pick up in case there’s a failure in one system.
Furthermore, it is essential that the government works with private companies to ensure they protect the critical infrastructure. Protecting critical infrastructure guarantees the safety of citizens (Ciuperca & Vevera, 2019). Hospitals need electricity for proper functioning, while emergency services depend on strong communication and transport infrastructure to function properly. Moreover, water treatment plants rely on power for clean water supply, and any fault among these points is a threat to human security and life. Therefore, sharing of knowledge concerning possible risks or weak points is what allows an efficient response against the risks thus saving human lives. When a government works with private entities, they are able to tackle any vulnerabilities or threats on their critical infrastructure without any difficulties because working together allows for a coordinated response and this alleviates threats/risks effectively.
In conclusion, the protection of the US critical infrastructure should be of utmost importance because of its effects on the national economy, security, public safety. These systems include water supply, communication networks, energy grids, and transportation systems, which are critical assets and systems for the proper functioning of the US economy and society. Critical infrastructures are most vulnerable to many threats, making it urgent for the US to prioritize their protection. Critical infrastructure protection is a necessity for national security, and leaving them unprotected can lead to serious consequences to the nation and its ability to respond promptly and protect itself from any threats/attacks. Safeguarding US’ critical infrastructure should draw in cybersecurity methods, upgrades towards physical security, resilience planning and joint efforts by multiple stake holders (Including private and government institutions). If we apply these measures first, America’s vital networks will be protected from future attacks and threats.
Alcaide, J. I., & Llave, R. G. (2020). Critical Infrastructures Cybersecurity and the Maritime Sector. Transportation Research Procedia, 45, 547-554.
Andrew, L. (2020). The Vulnerability of Vital Systems: How Critical Infrastructure Became a Security Problem. In Securing the Homeland’ (pp. 17-39). Routledge.
Ciuperca, E. M., & Vevera, V. A. (2019). Cultural Lens of Critical Infrastructure Protection. Redefining Community in Intercultural Context. Migration & Intercultural Dialogue, 75-80.
Yu, K., Tan, L., Mumtaz, S., Al-Rubaye, S., Al-Dulaimi, A., Bashir, A. K., & Khan, F. A. (2021). Securing Critical Infrastructures: Deep-Learning-Based Threat Detection in IIoT. IEEE Communications Magazine, 59(10), 76-82.