****ANSWER POST 250 WORDS MON EACH****
Discussion Questions: 1) Explain at least one key federal plan, strategy, or guidance released to date and how they have contributed to the current structure of critical infrastructure security and resilience.
2) Define risk and explain the value of risk management to the homeland security enterprise.
3) Summarize at least one natural hazard, technological/accidental hazard, or adversarial/human-caused threat and provide a recent example.
4) Discuss at least one of the twelve technological/accidental hazards and provide a recent example.
5) Elaborate on at least one of the adversarial/human-caused threat examples and provide a recent example.
****REPLY TO EACH POST 100 WORDS MIN***
- One key federal plan that has contributed to the current structure of critical infrastructure security and resilience is the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). The NIPP provides a comprehensive framework and guidance for managing risks and protecting critical infrastructure in the United States. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including government entities, private businesses, and other organizations. The NIPP promotes a collaborative approach, encouraging cooperation and information sharing among different sectors to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure. It has helped improve the coordination and implementation of security measures across sectors, and has increased the overall preparedness and response capabilities to various threats and hazards. Risk can be defined as the potential for harm, loss, or damage resulting from a specific event or activity. In the context of the homeland security enterprise, risk management is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks. It involves the process of understanding the nature of risks, evaluating their likelihood and potential consequences, and implementing measures to minimize their impact or likelihood of occurrence. The value of risk management lies in its ability to prioritize and allocate resources effectively, enabling informed decision-making and the development of targeted strategies to enhance resilience. By understanding and managing risks, the homeland security enterprise can proactively prevent or minimize the impact of various threats, ensuring the protection of lives, critical infrastructure, and national security. A recent example for this question is the fire that occurred in 2020 in California. These fires were fueled by a combination of drought conditions, high temperatures, and strong winds. They resulted in the loss of lives, widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure, and significant environmental damage. The wildfires posed a serious threat to human safety, natural resources, and critical infrastructure, such as power lines and communication networks. One of the twelve technological/accidental hazards is a transportation accident. An example of a recent transportation accident is the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, in August 2018. The collapse of this major highway bridge resulted in the tragic loss of 43 lives and caused significant disruption to transportation networks. This accident highlighted the importance of regular inspections, maintenance, and proactive safety measures to prevent catastrophic failures in critical infrastructure. An example of an adversarial/human-caused threat is cyberterrorism. Recent examples of cyberattacks include the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in May 2021, which disrupted the fuel supply on the East Coast of the United States, and the SolarWinds supply chain attack discovered in December 2020, affecting numerous government and private organizations. These cyber incidents demonstrated the potential for malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure systems, leading to significant economic, societal, and national security consequences. Protecting against cyber threats requires robust cybersecurity measures, information sharing, and a proactive and adaptive approach to detect, prevent, and respond to such attacks.
2. The current state of critical infrastructure security and resilience owes much to the federal government’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). It is an all-encompassing strategy introduced in 2006 and revised in 2009 and 2013. The National Assets Protection Plan (NIPP) is a coordination and risk reduction strategy throughout the nation’s critical assets. It provides principles for collaboration between federal, state, local, and private sector institutions and assists in identifying and prioritizing essential infrastructure (Baggett & Simpkins, 2018). The plan contains risk management, information sharing, and incident management processes to protect vital infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks. The NIPP has been crucial in making the United States’ critical infrastructure solid and secure, and it is regularly updated to account for new risks.
In homeland security, protecting civilians and vital infrastructure is of utmost importance. Natural disasters, acts of terrorism, cyberattacks, and other dangers to national security are examples of events and actions that pose risks. Effective risk management solutions are essential if we are to accomplish this mission. Identifying and mitigating risks can reduce the likelihood of suffering an adverse outcome. In this way, we can keep the people safe and keep their faith in our government and institutions strong. Comprehensive risk management requires cooperation between public and commercial organizations and the general population (Sadiq et al., 2019). Furthermore, the risk mitigation techniques’ effectiveness must be continuously monitored and evaluated. In conclusion, the safety and assurance of our nation depend on our proactive approach to detecting and managing threats. Doing so will help avert catastrophes and keep people safe.
Radiation is a significant technological risk that harms people and the environment. It is produced naturally and artificially in nuclear power plants and medical devices. The Fukushima accident vividly illustrates the terrible results of being exposed to radiation. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami damaged the nuclear power facility, which allowed radioactive materials to escape into the environment (Kamae, 2016). Long-term effects on public health and the environment necessitated the relocation of many individuals in the aftermath. The detrimental consequences of radiation exposure can be prevented or reduced using proper safeguards. Radiation-emitting medical equipment must be used correctly, and radioactive waste must be disposed of correctly. Nuclear power plants must undergo routine safety assessments. Taking these precautions will make the environment safer for everyone.
It is crucial to keep in mind potential risks as we continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology. Cyber attacks, which can involve everything from the theft of sensitive information to the entire takeover of computer systems, are among today’s greatest threats. The latest SolarWinds attack is a sobering reminder that no network is impenetrable (Leithauser, 2020). This attack affected a wide range of government organizations and significant corporations, highlighting the need for preventative measures against cyber attacks. Strong passwords and regular software updates are two of the best ways for individuals and businesses to protect themselves from cybercriminals. Keeping an eye out for potential cyber assaults and adopting precautions will help us avoid being caught off guard.
The proliferation of cybercrime is highly worrying and dangerous for our culture. As more and more of our daily activities become reliant on digital tools, so do the opportunities for cybercriminals to steal our data. There are many examples of this danger in the actual world, sadly. The Colonial Pipeline was shut down in May 2021 after a ransomware assault caused gas shortages and price increases along the East Coast (Hansbrough & Stephenson, 2021). Cybercrime can have severe consequences for our daily lives and essential infrastructure, as seen in this instance.
Baggett, R. K., & Simpkins, B. K. (2018). Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Hansbrough, B., & Stephenson, E. F. (2021). Did Georgia’s Post-Pipeline-Hack Gasoline-Tax Suspension Lower Prices? Atlantic Economic Journal, 49(3), 321–323. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11293-021-09724-3
Kamae, K. (2016). Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Nuclear Risks Prediction and Assessment Beyond the Fukushima Accident (K. Kamae, Ed.; 1st ed. 2016.). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-55822-4
Leithauser, T. (2020). CISA Issues New Warning About SolarWinds Breach. Cybersecurity Policy Report, 1–1.
Sadiq, A.-A., Tyler, J., & Noonan, D. S. (2019). A review of community flood risk management studies in the United States. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 41, 101327–. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101327