Background Critical infrastructure (CI) covers the structures and functions that modern societies require to operate continuously. Failures in these infrastructures may cause substantial undesired consequences in other services due to the high degree of interconnectivity of services. Therefore the continuous operation of these services is essential even during a severe failure situations. This study proposes an approach for identifying the vulnerable interdependencies between critical infrastructure (CI) networks so that the resilience of the CI can be improved. The study focuses on the electricity distribution, telecommunications and IT infrastructures.
Methods The study was conducted during the years of 2014 and 2015 for National Emergency Supply Agency in Finland. The study included six workshops where the material was collected based on threat scenario and verified by the participating CI companies that constitute the regional preparedness committees.
Results In order to find the potential vulnerable interconnections the following approach was introduced: a) collect and structure expert knowledge related to essential activities and failure types, b) analyse the data and create causalities, c) model the relevant influence chains and d) identify the local preparedness requirements. The approach assist also in identifying and creating decision support analysis such as geographical vulnerability analysis.
Conclusions The suggested approach provides consistent approach for identifying the critical CI interconnections and preparedness requirements. The benefits of the approach include the creation of common understanding of the interdependencies, establishing common concepts and introducing a systematic approach for identifying and managing the CI interconnections. The benefit of the approach for the CI service providers is the improved business continuity that is achieved by creating comprehensive understanding of the preparedness requirements.
- Critical infrastructure
- influence diagram
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