|Assets and facilities|
|Issues and ideas|
|Fields of study|
Critical infrastructure (or critical national infrastructure (CNI) in the UK) is a term used by governments to describe assets that are essential for the functioning of a society and economy – the infrastructure. Most commonly associated with the term are facilities for:
The European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) has been laid out in EU Directives by the Commission (EU COM(2006) 786 final).
It has proposed a list of European critical infrastructures based upon inputs by its member states.
Each designated European Critical Infrastructures (ECI) will have to have an Operator Security Plan (OSP) covering the identification of important assets, a risk analysis based on major threat scenarios and the vulnerability of each asset, and the identification, selection and prioritisation of counter-measures and procedures.
The German critical-infrastructure protection programme KRITIS is coordinated by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Some of its special agencies like the German Federal Office for Information Security or the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance BBK deliver the respective content, e.g., about IT systems.
In the UK, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides information, personnel and physical security advice to the businesses and organizations which make up the UK's national infrastructure, helping to reduce its vulnerability to terrorism and other threats.
It can call on resources from other government departments and agencies, including MI5, the Communications-Electronics Security Group and other government departments responsible for national infrastructure sectors.
The USA has had a wide-reaching critical infrastructure protection program in place since 1996. Its Patriot Act of 2001 defined critical infrastructure as those "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."
In 2014 the NIST Cybersecurity Framework was published, and quickly became a popular set of guidelines, despite the significant costs of full compliance.
These have identified a number of critical infrastructures and responsible agencies:
The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) defines critical infrastructure sector in the US. Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21), issued in February 2013 entitled Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience mandated an update to the NIPP. This revision of the plan established the following 16 critical infrastructure sectors:
National Monuments and Icons along with the postal and shipping sector were removed in 2013 update to the NIPP. The 2013 version of the NIPP has faced criticism for lacking viable risk measures. The plan assigns the following agencies sector-specific coordination responsibilities:
Several U.S. states have passed "critical infrastructure" bills, promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to criminalize protests against the fossil fuel industry. In May 2017, Oklahoma passed legislation which created felony penalties for trespassing on land considered critical infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines, or conspiring to do so; ALEC introduced a version of the bill as a model act and encouraged other states to adopt it. In June 2020, West Virginia passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which created felony penalties for protests against oil and gas facilities.