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Definition

critical infrastructure

Critical infrastructure is the body of systems, networks and assets that are so essential that their continued operation is required to ensure the security of a given nation, its economy, and the public’s health and/or safety.

Although critical infrastructure is similar in all nations due to the basic requirements of life, the infrastructure deemed critical can vary according to a nation’s needs, resources and development level. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identifies 16 sectors for critical infrastructure:

Chemical sector:

Basic chemicals

Specialty chemicals

Agricultural chemicals

Pharmaceuticals

Consumer products

 

Commercial Facilities Sector:

Entertainment and media

Gaming

Lodging

Outdoor events

Public assembly

Real estate

Retail

Sports leagues

 

Communications Sector:

Energy sector related to powering communications technologies

Information technology sector control systems and services

Financial services sector communications

Emergency services sector communications

 

Critical Manufacturing Sector:

Primary Metal Manufacturing

Iron and Steel Mills and Ferro Alloy Manufacturing

Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing

Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing

Machinery Manufacturing

Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing

Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing

Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

Vehicle Manufacturing

Aviation and Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing

 

Dams Sector:

Communications for operations and control

Energy

Food and agriculture

Transportation systems

Major roads may traverse dams.

Water

 

Defense Industrial Base Sector

 

Emergency Services Sector:

Law Enforcement

Fire and Emergency Services

Emergency Management

Emergency Medical Services

Public Works

Hazardous Materials

Search and Rescue

Hazardous Devices Team/Public Safety Bomb Disposal

Tactical Teams (i.e., SWAT)

Aviation Units (i.e., police and medevac helicopters)

Public Safety Answering Points (i.e., 9-1-1 call centers)

 

Energy Sector:

Electricity

Oil

Natural gas

 

Financial Services Sector:

Depository institutions

Providers of investment products

Insurance companies

Credit and financing organizations

 

Food and Agriculture Sector:

Farms

Restaurants

Food manufacturing, processing, and storage facilities

 

Government Facilities Sector:

Education

National monuments and Icons

 

Healthcare and Public Health Sector

 

Information Technology Sector

 

Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector:

Nuclear power plants

Non-power nuclear reactors used for research, testing, and training

Manufacturers of nuclear reactors or components

Radioactive materials used primarily in medical, industrial, and academic settings

Nuclear fuel cycle facilities

Decommissioned nuclear power reactors

Transportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste

 

Transportation Systems Sector:

Aviation

Highway Infrastructure and Motor Carrier

Maritime Transportation System

Mass Transit and Passenger Rail

Pipeline Systems

Freight Rail

Postal and Shipping

 

Water and Wastewater Systems Sector

 

 

This was last updated in April 2020

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