Physical infrastructure in the United States is critical because it consists of utilities such as water supplies, oil pipelines, banking networks, air traffic controls which are important human utilities. Consequently, all problems and dangers that pose a threat to physical infrastructure need be guarded and prevented. Research captured in websites of various organizations illustrates the ways in which physical infrastructure should be protected.
Most of the physical infrastructure protection initiatives employed by different organizations in the United Sates include having security checkpoints, preventive maintenance and regularly scheduled back-ups. In an area such as Washington D.C there is a “Miss Utility” program whereby home owners are prevented from hitting on water, gas and electric lines while they are constructing swimming pools. From the 1980’s, a new dimension has grown as to the whole physical infrastructure security spectrum. Organizations have now adopted technology to aid in security wrought by the increased use of computers in business and in virtually every environment.
However, it is my feeling that the measures put in place to secure physical infrastructure are inadequate and need to be backed up through improvement. For instance, since most essential functions are dependent on computers, they are not only susceptible to the conventional methods of attack such as explosives but also vulnerable to cyber-attacks. These include the sheathing of high-tech networks controlling this infrastructure form target points for terrorists and other disaffected employees. The degree to which the economy, society and the government is now dependent on complex communications and transportation networks among others.
A number of additional defensive measures need be put in place. Some of the recommendations would involve a mix of housekeeping measures as well as investment in CCTV and alarms to check on intruders and lighting. More so, it must always be borne in mind that threats, both internal and external, continue to mutate and so must the security measures. This would require more financial investment towards this sector as well as limiting the personnel that get into interaction with key infrastructure.
Moteff, J. (2005). Risk Management and Critical infrastructure Protection: Assessing,Integrating and Managing Threats,Vulnerabilities and Consequences. Library of Congress, 12-25.