Improving Cyber-Security for the State’s Critical Infrastructures

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Critical infrastructure entails vital cyber and physical assets and systems whose destructions and incapacity would result in a debilitating impact on the public health, economy, and safety. They provide essential services that strengthen the society, implying that effective measures should be established to ensure security. The 2018 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act was developed to enhance resilience efforts and security in the U.S (Christensen & Petersen, 2017). This paper explores how the governor’s administration can enhance cybersecurity and promote the state’s Critical Infrastructure.

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Critical infrastructure gives a clear description of assets, and physical and cyber systems crucial to the United States. Eighteen essential sectors of infrastructure exist in the United States, and they act as a backbone of all sectors of development (Christen et al., 2020). They include banking and finance, commercial facilities, food and agriculture, chemical, communications, defense, emergency services, manufacturing, energy, emergency services, public health, and healthcare. Others are nuclear reactors, transportation systems, national monuments, postal and shipping, materials and waste, dams, and water.

Critical infrastructure is important to the economy though it is prone to cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity threats refer to various cyber-attacks such as data manipulation, destruction and exfiltration, infiltration, identity theft, and service compromise. These threats are perpetrated by individual hackers, criminal enterprises, or politically instigated hacktivists. Individual hackers utilize their highly skilled technical know-how to access an unauthorized information system and compromise it. Politically instigated hacktivists are different from individual hackers in that they do not hack systems for their gains but with a mandate of bringing political and social change. Sometimes hackers form a criminal enterprise upon consolidating their forces (Sun et al., 2018). This is a comparable structure or a group of individuals who engage in illegal activity. These criminal enterprises can be motivated by social and /or political change or unfriendly nation undertakings. To access the valuable information of the target, they work for the state and commit the cybercrime unnoticed.

Governors can plan, implement and sustain cybersecurity programs. The governor and his administration should enact actions that seek to improve the security of all critical infrastructures. One of the actions is practicing proper governance, which aids in allocating resources, assigning duties to the right personnel, and formulating policies and procedures that protect the environment. They need to prioritize financial decisions according to the risks since budgets are always a limiting factor. Finally, there is a need to establish relationships with other agencies such as federal partners, private industries, citizenry, and local governments and determine the benefits (Christen et al., 2020). Everybody has a stake in ensuring a secure operating environment, be it users, providers, or support of services. In response to the three actions mentioned above, governors can take several steps to handle challenges such as fuel shortages, cyber-attacks, electrical breakouts, and other crises.

  • Identifying the nation’s critical infrastructure to put more emphasis based on the underlying risks. Health, security, banking, and finance are some of the critical infrastructures that should be considered as they carry hefty risks upon cyber threats.
  • Conducting risk and vulnerability assessments for the critical infrastructure. Some risks are highly vulnerable to the economy when their systems are attacked.
  • Identifying and understanding interdependencies in the critical infrastructures since they depend on each other, and when one has been compromised by the attackers, the threat may affect the entire critical infrastructure.
  • Protecting critical infrastructure through the development of regional strategies.
  • Recognizing the role of the federal government in safeguarding critical infrastructure.
  • Collaborating with the private sector in protecting critical infrastructure.

In recent times, the overreliance on cyber networks has been increasing and changing the way people work and engage in activities such as shopping, communicating, and banking. Therefore, cybersecurity has become a significant state responsibility as a single cyber-attack can jeopardize and compromise data security, forcing the state to shut down its networks (Wen et al., 2017). Other cyber systems are difficult to secure due to their vulnerability. For instance, cyberspace is prone to malicious damage since attackers can operate remotely from any part of the world. There is also a growing concern about critical infrastructure cyber threats due to increased sophistication in cyber intrusions posing new risks (Christen et al., 2020). The increased integration of information technology with physical infrastructure operations has also added high-consequence risks and events that can bring the economy down and disrupt millions of citizens’ livelihoods.

In conclusion, cyber threat is on the rise, and government agencies need to put the necessary measures to protect the critical infrastructure. By exercising proper governance, prioritizing financial decisions, and establishing a cordial relationship with other agencies, benefits in securing and safeguarding the critical infrastructure are attained. It is vital to strengthen the resilience and security of cyberspace, considering the underlying risks and potential consequences. The cyberspace infrastructure vulnerability is high as attackers target nation networks to access information and steal money, as well as threaten the delivery of vital services. Crimes that have detrimental economic and human consequences such as banking fraud, property violations, and child exploitation schemes are nowadays common in cyberspace.

References

Christen, M., Gordijn, B., & Loi, M. (2020). The Ethics of cybersecurity. Springer Nature.

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Christensen, K. K., & Petersen, K. L. (2017). Public-private partnerships on cybersecurity: A practice of loyalty. International Affairs, 93(6), 1435-1452. Web.

Sun, C. C., Hahn, A., & Liu, C. C. (2018). Cybersecurity of a power grid: State-of-the-art. International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, 99, 45-56. Web.

Wen, G., Yu, W., Yu, X., & Lü, J. (2017). Complex cyber-physical networks: From cybersecurity to security control. Journal of Systems Science and Complexity, 30(1), 46-67. Web.

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1. Premium Papers. "Improving Cyber-Security for the State's Critical Infrastructures." October 25, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/improving-cyber-security-for-the-states-critical-infrastructures/.


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