The Faceless Threat : Cyber Security And Critical Infrastructure

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The Faceless Threat: Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Our society continues to promote a culture that perpetuates overdependence on technology to monitor complex Internet-based systems. Thus, the U.S cannot ignore the devastation that could ensue from an attack by a nation-state, cyber terrorist, or hacker. As discussed in the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, the number of CIKR systems that depend on the Internet or data processing networks for seamless operations are increasing, while the human input decreases. PPD-21 of 2013 elucidates that U.S. over dependence on technology can lead to widespread failure as it promotes cross-sectional interdependencies that hinder resilience efforts. Nevertheless, a cyber attack on our Nation’s CI could be catastrophic, but there is much discourse on the viability of a cyber threat. Experts have argued the threat to Industrial Control Systems (ICS), like the U.S. power grid, may not be a high probability outcome. Moreover, the Industrial Control Systems and Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) received over 290 reports of incidents involving CI in FY 2015, yet none of the attacks resulted in disruption of the grid (Armerding, 2016). Experts anticipate the sophistication of these attacks to increase with time, including attacks on data integrity (Overfelt, 2016). Helena Brito (2013) surveyed a group of experts among the CI community on probable attacks targeting the utility industry in regards to cyber security.

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