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M2D1: The Emergence of Networks

M2D1: The Emergence of Networks


M2D1: The Emergence of Networks

Textbook: Radvanovsky, R.S. & McDougall, A. (2018).  Critical Infrastructure: Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.  4th edition. CRC Press. 978-1138057791.

Module 1: Overview & Outcomes


In this module, you will be introduced to the basic concepts and history of critical infrastructure protection. This is a topic that is now beginning to span generations. Some will remember the year 2000 (Y2K) issue as an emerging crisis. For others, the issue began shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. This list is not going to end anytime soon. You will begin with a brief history of critical infrastructure. You will also learn about the major entities that help protect our critical infrastructure.

After this initial introduction to the topic, you will identify some recent changes in the strategic infrastructure, specifically the emergence of networks. You will concentrate on the demand, capacity, and fragility of these networks and identify how this interdependence changes and how this critical infrastructure is protected. You will also be introduced to the concept of cyberterrorism.

To learn more about these topics, you will review Chapters 1 and 2 of your assigned textbook, participate in discussions, and complete a quiz.

Module 1: Learning & Assessment Activities

During this module you will:

Read the following:

  • Required
    • Radvanovsky, R.S. & McDougall, A. (2018).  Critical Infrastructure: Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.  4th edition. CRC Press. 978-1138057791.
      • Chapter 1: Introduction to Critical Infrastructure Assurance and Protection
      • Chapter 2: Demand, Capacity, Fragility, and the Emergence of Networks
    • Module notes

Review these Documents and Websites:

 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Critical Infrastructure Security Overview (Links to an external site.).

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Critical Infrastructure Sectors. (Links to an external site.)

U.S. The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)—NIPP 2013: Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience

Module 1: Module Notes: Introduction to Critical Infrastructure

In Chapter 1 you learn the meaning of the phrase critical infrastructure. The chapter will also differentiate between public sector and private sector critical infrastructure and the growing trend towards public-private partnerships. It will also define and explain critical infrastructure protection (CIP) and critical infrastructure assurance (CIA).

The phrase critical infrastructure refers to assets of physical and logical systems that are essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. These systems are becoming increasingly interdependent and interconnected.

The private sector consists of those entities not controlled by the government, such as private companies and businesses. The public sector consists of government-owned or government-controlled entities. The risks and important considerations for each of these sectors are often different.

Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) refers to the activities undertaken to protect critical infrastructures. CIP is often considered a reactionary response to threats or hazardous conditions. It involves more responses to risks rather than preventative measures.

Critical infrastructure assurance (CIA) focuses on identifying missions. Primarily, it focuses on alternative ways to accomplish the mission of critical infrastructure, even if one aspect of the critical infrastructure is compromised. It is a more holistic approach that is far more relevant to today’s networked infrastructure systems.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), there are now 16 Critical Infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered vital to the United States.  Review them all here at this link (Links to an external site.).  Each one of these 16 sectors has a sector-specific plan (Links to an external site.) to mitigate any threats to the sector and these are valuable for you to consider in your work throughout the remainder of the course. 

Next, let’s learn how infrastructure is subject to impacts that can flow along interdependencies and networks.

Module 1: Module Notes: Networks—Demand, Capacity, and Fragility

The emergence of networks has changed the dynamics of critical infrastructure protection (CIP). Networks involve the discussion of demand, capacity, and fragility. Modern critical infrastructure protection (CIP) should focus more on assuring that a given service continues to be delivered as required rather than protecting the infrastructure exactly in its current state.

Demand and capacity exist in a constant balancing act. Capacity is the amount that can be produced. Demand is the amount of something that is needed. Both are highly relevant to CIA. Networks and systems are becoming more interdependent. When considering these interdependencies, there needs to be a basic understanding of how the impact flows between or across sectors. Networks can become fragmented and even dissolved, which would involve the complete elimination of a network connection as opposed to the partial elimination of a network reflected by the word fragmented.

Terrorism has now expanded into the area of cyberterrorism. There are potentially disastrous effects from concentrated attacks over the Internet on information and other critical government and private sector electronic systems.

Fragility can be described in terms of the propensity of something to fail. This can be divided into three major categories—the design of objects, natural fragility, and cyclical fragility. To analyze fragility, one must look at personnel, assets, facilities, information, and data, among other things.

Module 1: Module Notes: Self-Test

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and Critical Infrastructure Assurance (CIA)

Traditionally, security forces have been concerned with protecting critical infrastructure—that is, maintaining the infrastructure intact and operational in its original form. With the advent of interdependent infrastructures, security forces can shift to critical infrastructure assurance where the focus is on continuing to perform the functions of the infrastructure even if the infrastructure itself is not preserved in its original form.

(Please refer to separate attached file named Module 1-Self Test.)

M1D2: The Emergence of Networks

In this discussion, you will address how networks have developed in recent years and the unique problems associated with these networks.

Considering everything you have reviewed so far, respond to the following:

  • What are the unique problems associated with the creation of critical infrastructure networks?
  • How does the existence of these networks help and hinder both critical infrastructure protection (CIP) and critical infrastructure assurance (CIA)?

Evaluation Criteria

Post must be 200 words in APA format including in-text citations and references pertaining to textbook, module readings, and/or additional outside resources. Please reference and cite your readings and viewings in support of your responses.

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