Every nation has its international strategy and policies that are well-thought-out to offer important services to the nation as a whole. Each sector works hand in hand with its partners to ensure they have managed any vulnerabilities and have reduced the risks so as to strengthen their sectors and ensures it is running smoothly. Considering the fact that these critical sectors have a direct impact on the security, the economy of the nation, health and the public safety of the citizens of the USA, the critical infrastructure have to be strengthened by all means. Critical Infrastructure can, therefore, be defined as the systems, networks, assets, both virtual or physical belonging to the government that is essential for the running of the nation.
The transport sector, emergency sector, food and agriculture
Discuss the interdependencies of three of the critical infrastructure sectors listed above.
Transportation system sector is a wide and networked system that consists of all modes of transportation including highway, marine, pipeline, railways, and mass transits. This network is critical as it is responsible for moving tons of goods and millions of people to different destinations and it is crucial in the economy of the nation. The transportation systems have critical assets that are used to improve the sustainability of the other sectors. If these assets are attacked, it may cause major catastrophe and it may be in the form of links, nodes or even flow. In addition, the transport sector is a targeted network by terrorists as it forms part of the global system. This means that it relies mostly on global partners to transport goods to other nations, besides, it also relies hugely on the information shared by the global partners as to identify any vulnerability or threats they are likely to face.
Emergency Services Sector
This comprises of networks, assets, and systems that are responsible for maintaining the health and the safety of individuals in the case of emergencies such as terrorists attack, or any other disaster that may occur unawares. Besides, it involves millions of well-trained and skilled personnel with other resources such as cyber and physical resources that are prepared and are ready to provide recovery services and response to any incident that occurs. These services are vital to the national security agencies, the economy of the nation, the public health and the way of life in general. The main mission of this sector is to save lives, aid the communities that have been attacked by disasters either manmade or natural, protect the environment as well as properties, during emergency cases, they also aid recovery. Both the private and the public sectors work hand in hand to ensure that its missions and visions are well executed.
Food and Agriculture
This sector makes up about one-fifth of the economic activities in the nation. It also comprises the production, the delivery systems, the processing systems and has the capability to feed millions of people both within the USA and beyond its boundaries. Most of the food agriculture departments are owned by private sectors and operate highly on the most competitive networks across the globe. In addition, it provides economic opportunities and is known to improve the lives of not only the Americans but also other citizens in other nations worldwide. These products are transported across the world thus creating a trade balance between the nations involved hence improving the economy of America. Therefore protecting the food and agriculture sector is a significant role that should be shared among the local, tribal. Federal, non-governmental and governmental sectors at their capabilities.
How are critical infrastructure assets prioritized in the three sectors you selected?
The three sectors have significant interdependencies with each other and they depend directly on the others. For example, the emergency systems sector depends directly on the transportation system. This is majorly on the response of the emergency cases. Both the private and public transport systems have to run efficiently. The transport system has to ensure that they are able to respond to natural disasters without any failures and are able to manage the risks that are associated with the links and the network to improve the survivability of the affected individuals or properties. Emergency medical services, rescue team are all part of public safety agents that form an integral part of the transportation system. The transport system works in collaboration with the State Highway to advocate for secure transportation when responding to certain emergencies.
An attack on the Transportation sector has an impact on the Food and Agriculture even though the FA was not a target to the attackers. The transportation sector in regard to the food and agriculture plays a significant role in ensuring that there is a safe bridge between the distributors and the suppliers. This is therefore in regard to the exportation of the farm products to other nations. The transportation system provides a delivery means for every food products required to be exported. Therefore it can be concluded that food and agriculture are dependent on the transport system for distribution and retailers facilitation and even to the customers.
Food Protection and Defense Institute mainly addresses the issues regarding food contamination either by chemical agents or biological agents. The main function is to reduce the contamination of any food supply chain that directly affects the public health and the economy of Kenya. The Emergency sector, therefore, is involved in a way that the concerned are trained to respond to such emergencies that may arise. Therefore highly skilled and trained personnel are recruited in this department to be able to analyze any threats attacking the food systems.
What measures do the three sectors you selected to take to ensure continuity of operations?
Transport systems sectors
Transport systems in partnership with the federal governments continue to develop the security measures needed to ensure that the transport system is secure at all times. In cooperating it with other sectors such as the security sector is one way of ensuring that safety measures are provided. The need to ensure security measures are taken seriously is due to the threat information and the attempts posed by the terrorists continue to evolve. Therefore the security department needs to adjust to the action plans to ensure continuity of the security measures. Another way to ensure continuity of operations is by ensuring there is a flow of information so as the involved security agents can access the threats and risks that may be involved. By that, they can allocate the right resources and carry out the appropriate security measures to protect the transportation sector.
The government offers free resources such as cyber security assets that are useful in carrying out the emergency mission. Besides that, the emergency sectors offer training programs to its team both in the private and the public sector. This is to ensure that the right actions are taken in regard to the emergencies that may arise. The employees are also a team of well trained and skilled people that can execute their duties with proficiency.
Food and agriculture sector
The food and agriculture have become dependent on technology, therefore, making it vulnerable to cyber threats. Ensuring the connectivity between the remote areas and most urban areas is one of the ways to ensure continuity of operations. Due to the potential threats posed, the food and agriculture sector in relation to the security sector work closely to develop and enhance protective measures so as to deal with such threats. This ensures that there is flow in the production of the agricultural products in the farms. The protective measure begins from the farm inputs such as fertilizers and the fuel as well as the livestock, it also moves to the manufacturing and the processing assets that includes the transportation and the supplies, and also the storage of the products and finally to the customers. When the security in the three areas have been considered, the food and agriculture sector runs smoothly.
What special considerations should be made for life and property that result as a consequence of an attack on the three critical infrastructure sectors you selected?
Transport system sector
Special attention should be given to the interdependencies among the transportation systems so that the members in those sectors are encouraged to perform their duties efficiently. While there are threats posed by the terrorists, the team can adjust their strategies based on past events and the strategies the terrorists used before. Special consideration should be taken on the cyber networks that support the transporting systems. The accessibility of the networks results to direct consequences on the stakeholders and the people of interest. The area of packaging should also be considered; this is to ensure that there is a balance between the existing and the new activities. The involved teams should ensure that they have considered different packaging strategies and have evaluated the impact each package has and the cost estimated to implement it.
The economic impacts and the public health are to be into consideration and the interactions from other sources should be able to function properly. The different networks put in place should be able to run smoothly and ensure the risks are managed.
Accepting the risks and understanding the priorities helps in the contingency planning and sharing of the responsibilities of the stakeholders in the various sectors.
Most of the critical infrastructure sectors are dependent to some extent however, there are critical sectors that have potentially competing and different interdependencies. It is therefore vital to determine which of the sectors relate most with each other and ensure that their various complexities have been understood when making up the policies and implementing the different policies to ensure every sector performs greatly. Identifying the relationship between different sectors requires that members in each sector interdependently conduct analysis and identify the methodologies that are required to meet the needs of various sectors. The risks in the various sectors have to be managed also so as appropriate protective measures have been implemented. Protecting the critical infrastructure is therefore essential in ensuring that America is safer and more secure for all people from terrorist’s attacks or any other threat. Various agencies including both the non-governmental and the governmental organizations should work together and address any evolving threat or policies that may bring a negative impact on the nation.
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