The systems essential for sustaining a modern economy are increasingly interconnected and under attack, The US Department of Homeland Security defines critical infrastructure as assets and networks - physical or virtual - considered so vital their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on national economic security, public health, or safety. Around the world, there is a shared imperative to secure such vital systems. A study published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2021 identified more than 200 significant cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure that had occurred in the prior year, affecting systems in more than two dozen countries. Finance, telecommunications, emergency response, energy, health services, transportation, water supply, and food systems are all examples of functions that must be reliable and consistent - interruption or failure in any of them could result in economic hardship, loss of essential services, and a loss of safety. Many essential activities that support critical infrastructure have been increasingly digitalized, and rely on computers and networks - including the internet - to operate. Any breakdown of cybersecurity defenses built to protect these functions could result in catastrophe, and our heavy reliance on technology demands a correspondingly concerted effort to secure it. With adequate cyber resilience, organizations can confidently and consistently provide their products and services - without it, they risk falling short for their constituencies. Resilience demands that an organization take a holistic view of its technology, and that it focus on foundational elements including cybersecurity, business continuity, and enterprise risk management, all coordinated around a single mission: to operate as planned, and to continue to meet expectations even in the face of cyber events that could otherwise thwart operations - and to be able to do so even when more comfortable, customary ways of operating are unavailable. Critical infrastructure resilience begins with a serious assessment that takes an unclouded view of the vulnerabilities that may exist, and of the potential for them to be exploited - followed by the development of methodical tests and resolution plans for every conceivable risk scenario and potential operational failure that can impact an organization, specific to its sector and the services it provides. Everyone has a right to expect that critical infrastructure is digitally secure and sustainable in the face of any potential cyber threat. Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure refer to attempts to disrupt or compromise the operation of systems and networks that are essential to the functioning of society, such as power grids, water systems, transportation networks, and financial systems. These types of attacks can have serious consequences, including power outages, loss of access to clean water, transportation disruptions, and financial losses. Critical infrastructure is becoming increasingly dependent on digital systems and networks, which makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers and cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive information, and cause disruption to the operations. To protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, organizations and government agencies must implement robust cybersecurity measures. This includes implementing strong passwords and authentication protocols, regularly updating software and systems, and implementing network segmentation to limit the scope of any potential breaches. Additionally, organizations should conduct regular security assessments, penetration testing and simulation of cyber-attacks to identify vulnerabilities and improve the overall security posture. Furthermore, governments play a crucial role in protecting critical infrastructure by implementing regulations and standards, and providing support and resources to help organizations secure their networks and systems. International cooperation is also important, as cyber threats often originate from outside the country and a coordinated approach is needed to combat them. Overall, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure can have severe consequences on the society and economy, it is important to take proactive measures to protect these systems and respond to any incidents quickly and effectively.
Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure