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Cyber Impact and Critical Infrastructure

The Department of Homeland Security defines critical infrastructure as assets that provide the essential services that underpin American society and serve as the backbones of our nation’s economy, security, and health (Rehak et al., 2018). The overall infrastructure includes 16 sectors from chemical facilities to utilities and waste. As time continues, critical infrastructure sectors started to become interdependent. Interdependencies in critical infrastructure refers to the bidirectional system of data and information being shared between critical infrastructure sectors (Rehak et al., 2018).

As technology has advanced, the critical infrastructure is at a greater risk of cyberattacks. However, potential consequences of a major cyberattack on critical infrastructure is difficult to predict as a result of the interdependence between various sectors. An attack on one sector could have spillover effects on the other sectors that depend on the sector that was attacked. For example, the transportation sector depends on the provision of electricity by the energy sector to power trains and traffic control systems, just as the energy sector relies on the timely delivery of fuel and other inputs through the transportation sector. An attack on any one of these sectors could greatly affect the operations of the United States. When discussing cybersecurity there are three important aspects to discuss.

Cyber Threat Spectrum

The first aspect to discuss is the cyber threat spectrum. The cyber threat spectrum describes the threats and motivations an individual would have to commit a cyberattack (Rehak et al., 2018). For example, there is a threat of a cyberattack on the United States by terrorist organizations. One motivation a terrorist organization could have to commit a cyberattack is to shut down the electrical grid. The second aspect to discuss is the policies and legislation that supports cyber security.

Policy and Legislation

There are multiple policies and pieces of legislation that support cyber security. For example, in 2014, two cybersecurity bills were introduced into Congress. The two bills were Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Both bills would allow companies and the federal government to “share” threat information for a “cybersecurity” purpose to protect and defend the United States against attacks involving computer systems and networks (Carter & Sofio, 2017). The last aspect to discuss is protective measures that can be taken to protect cyber targets.

Protective Measures

Different protective measures can be taken to better secure cyber targets thus, which will also protect critical infrastructure. Prevention strategies can either be structural and non-structural mitigation. Structural mitigation is more focused on physical changes and non-structural mitigation is more focused on what individuals can do to improve cybersecurity. One prevention strategy that is more structural is to develop software to enhance the exchange of information on cybersecurity threats between the different critical infrastructure sectors. However, one prevention strategy that is more non-structural mitigation is to provide education to increase employee knowledge on cybersecurity threats.

Biblical Worldview

America’s critical infrastructure is not the only aspect to experience vulnerabilities. Everyone has experienced vulnerabilities during their life. However, through Christ, we can overcome out vulnerabilities. One Bible verse states, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (King James Bible, 1796/2020, Philippians 4:13).