The threat of physical or cyber-attack targeting Critical Infrastructure (CI) is a key concern globally. Vulnerability to sudden service disruptions due to deliberate sabotage and terrorist attacks is a major threat. CI comprises goods and services such as clean air; the supply of water, electricity and gas; schools and hospitals; roads and bridges; railways and airports; telephone and the internet; information and communication; banking and finance; emergency services; sewage and refuse disposal, and so forth. The concept of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Security (CIPS) is associated with the readiness to respond to serious incidents encompassing the CI of a nation or region, as this infrastructure is crucial for the wellbeing and safety of nation states.
While individual infrastructure systems provide unique services, it is important to consider the interdependency of infrastructures, as the failure of one could lead to the collapse of many others, with the potential to close down crucial services. For example, a physical attack on an electricity grid can lead to the failure of a number of other services such as in hospitals, railways and airports. Similarly, a cyber-attack on the computer systems of emergency services can result in the unavailability of these services.
There are a number of ways in which CIPS challenge can be addressed. In this project, the focus will be on education and training to help detect and prevent threats to CI so that later catastrophes could be avoided.