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Critical Infrastructure Identification - Research Paper Example

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Critical Infrastructure Identification Name University According to Moteff and a Parfomak (2004) the meaning of critical infrastructure in the public policy context has evolved overtime and is still open to debate. In the 1980’s it was primarily defined in relation to public works but this definition was reconsidered and now reflects the increasing importance of homeland security…
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Download file to see previous pages The infrastructures that are most critical to protect in New York City (NYC) are the transport infrastructure (including the major bridges and highways), the medical infrastructure, the communication infrastructure, the fire and safety infrastructure, the power, water and other utilities infrastructure, prisons, high occupancy buildings, national monuments and schools. These are essential in any defense or natural disaster mitigation operations and the necessary steps should be taken to ensure that they are protected from terrorist attacks. The increasing threat of international terrorism has resulted in a renewal of the federal government’s interest in issues related to infrastructure. The focus has changed from the adequacy of infrastructure to the protection of infrastructure. One of the problems seems to relate to the identification of critical infrastructure. This has been very important especially in the NYC area which was the scene of the most devastating terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The act defines critical infrastructure as “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters” (Moteff and Parfomak, 2004) Description and Analysis of Best Practice Used In Critical Infrastructure Identification The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has drafted a list of key assets. No real basis was established to determine what is key and so the departments’ listings are often somewhat different. An assets criticality depends on the assets operational or business value and is also a function of both time and situation. The value of the critical infrastructure in New York City (NYC) relates to the key operations military and otherwise that depend on these assets and how these dependencies change over time. It also depends on the sensitivity of the City’s operations and services to the loss of the asset. That means if the asset is affected by any natural disasters or other acts of terrorism, the maximum time for which it can be out of use before it results in serious implications for the normal operations of the City. It also depends on whether asset restoration or other backup measures can occur within the time allocated as the asset’s maximum allowable down time. These critical assets will include assets that require special protection because of their potential for destruction and or the value that they provide for the City. They may include symbols and icons that represent the heritage of the nation. The concept surrounding their identification is a means by which the government can place emphasis on high priority assets in its critical infrastructure protection program. All the federal departments and agencies have been given the task of identifying their critical infrastructure. The heads of these departments and agencies report to the Secretary on an annual basis on their efforts to identify; prioritize and coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources in their respective sectors (DHS, 2008). The DHS and sector-specific agencies collaborate with the private sector which owns and operates most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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