Applying digital, analytics innovation to make America’s infrastructure more resilient | Federal News Network
The critical infrastructure Americans rely on every day for power, transportation, water, connectivity and more has reached a perfect storm of vulnerability.
Threats are escalating in scope and sophistication as we saw in the recent Colonial Pipeline attack. These include disruptions of positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems like GPS, concern about the impact of electromagnetic pulse attacks on electrical grids and equipment, and hacks into industrial control systems of municipal water supplies, as recently seen in Oldsmar, Florida. Meanwhile, the attack surface itself has expanded exponentially with the move to classify space assets satellites, sensors and command and control systems as critical infrastructure.
However, we are seeing government agencies respond in a myriad of important and impactful ways. In the last year alone the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate recently released PNT resources and algorithms to protect against GPS spoofing. The Department of Energy launched a 100-day plan for the DOE, electricity industry and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to enhance cybersecurity for electric utility industrial control systems (ICS) and the energy sector supply chain. We’ve also seen the Space Policy Directive-5 put DHS and CISA in lead roles to enhance the nation’s cyber defenses for key systems used for global communications, navigation, weather monitoring and other critical services. These developments reinforce and augment E.O. 13865, which establishes resilience and security standards for U.S. critical infrastructure as a national priority.
While we are moving in the right direction, an overview follows of why critical infrastructure is so vulnerable today, why it’s so challenging to protect, and how federal IT leaders and infrastructure managers must use digital transformation — specifically data, analytics and smarter portfolio management — to make it more resilient and maintain this momentum.