homework question 62

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Discussion Questions: Discuss the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Energy, Dams, Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste sectors. How are the public and private sectors being coordinated to assist in securing these sectors?

Required Readings

DHS CIP: Read all subsections such as overview, specific plan, resources, and training sections within each sector below:

1. Energy Sector

2. Dams Sector

3. Nuclear Reactors, Materials, Waste Sector

4. Lewis, T.G. (2014). Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation. (Read Chapters 12 and 13)

5. Carpenter, D. & Prevost, R. (2012). Toward Further Development of the U.S. Electrical Transmission System: My Grid, Your Grid, Our Grid. The Electricity Journal, 25(6), 10-20.

6. R. Adhikari. (2011, Dec 16). Power Grid Cybersecurity: Who’s in Charge?

You must separate each aspect of the question into different paragraphs and incorporate headers to differentiate the various aspects. Failure to do so may result in a loss of points.

Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post must be at least 350 words. You also must respond to at least two other student’s initial postings and these responses must be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Student Responses

Student #1 Troy

  • Discussion Questions: Discuss the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Energy, Dams, Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste sectors.

Each of the critical infrastructures units described here provides unique challenges on their own when it comes to the risk landscape associated with each sector. Understanding their importance, both collectively and individually helps us to look at them as a whole where their protection and proper function are essential parts of our country. They are all vital and when we look at what role they play in our everyday lives, their protection must start at the time of design, and before any construction begins. The risk landscape is quite broad as everything from chemical or cyberattacks to physical penetration of the structures themselves. I happen to know first-hand about the construction of new Dams, Waste sectors, and the materials used to build them as my sister has built both of these critical infrastructures around the country. She has shared with me the extent to which protection of the structure is part of it’s overall design. This cannot be said for our older structures which were built a lifetime ago and without really any regard for today’s current risk landscape. This fact means that attention to their protection is more than just the responsibility of the government but is all of ours from workers to consumers and since 9/11 I think most of us know this.

  • How are the public and private sectors being coordinated to assist in securing these sectors?

Public and private sector coordination with respect to securing each of these vital sectors is an ongoing relationship where some of it is visible to the public while other security measures remain somewhat less known. Most of our critical infrastructure is protected by private party security companies who appear to protect them across the country. Thees private companies are the first line of defense even if the structure they are protecting houses federal officers. Other agencies like the FBI have extensive private organizations who work in certain professions including academia whose task at work may include sharing relevant information of potential threats directly to the agency, and their specified agent at the FBI can take appropriate measures to ensure infrastructure safety and security.

References:

“Critical Infrastructure Sector Partnerships | CISA.” https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-secto…

“Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste – InfraGard Louisiana ….” https://www.infragard-la.org/sectors/nuclear-reactors-materials-and-waste/.

“Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security ….” 4 Oct. 2012, https://www.hsaj.org/articles/233.

Student #2 Donovan

This posting discusses the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Energy, Dams, Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste sectors. In addition, this post will identify how the public and private sectors are coordinating in order to assist in securing the aforementioned critical infrastructure sectors.

What are the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Energy sector?

The Energy Sector was identified in Presidential Policy Directive-21 (PPD-21) as “uniquely critical because it provides an essential function across virtually all critical infrastructure sectors” (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2015, p. 3). The Energy Sector includes subsectors which include electricity, oil, and natural gas; each of which are integral commodities to households and industries throughout the nation. Lewis (2014) explained that energy in the forms of fossil fuels, solar, wind, and nuclear propels “power plants, heats or homes, powers our cars, and air-conditioners our offices . . . without energy, the telephone and internet would not work” (p. 213).

The threats faced by the Energy Sector vary. The sector faces threats form natural disasters, cyber-attacks, international and domestic terrorist groups, weapons of mass destruction, and electro-magnetic pulse weapons. Lewis (2014) noted that one of the most critical assets of the Energy Sector are refineries, transmission pipelines, and major storage facilities that are located throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Their geographical concentration and large capacities put them at risk because they could be easily accessed and face risks form “symmetric and asymmetric attacks, weather related damage, and industrial accidents (Lewis, 2014, p. 223).

What are the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Dams sector?

The Dams Sector has many interdependencies with other critical infrastructure sectors such as communications, energy, food and agriculture, transportation systems, and water (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, n.d.). One of the most unique characteristics about the Dams Sector is its “diversity of owners, operators, and regulators”, each of which possessing “unique assets, distinct risk profile, and tailored operational processes, business environments, and risk management approaches” (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2015, p. 2).

The failure, damage, or disruption of the Dams Sector could have catastrophic effects including loss of life, property damage, environmental, health, and economic consequences. In addition, failure, damage, or disruption would have a cascading effect on the transportation, energy, and water sectors to name a few. As with all critical infrastructures and subsectors, severe weather and natural disasters pose a significant risk as realized during Hurricane Katrina when the levee system was breached. Dams and levees are at risk to erosion and structural failures, cyber-attacks, inexperienced workforce (lack of proper maintenance), deterioration, and terrorist or deliberate attacks (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2015).

What are the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste sectors?

The Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sectors are owned for the most part by the private sector. Out of all the critical infrastructure sectors, the Nuclear Sector assets are the most regulated and heavily guarded civilian infrastructure (US Department of Homeland Security, 2015). The civilian nuclear use of nuclear material is regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) who also licenses all civilian nuclear plants and operations. There are ninety-nine U.S. nuclear power reactors all of which are owned and operated by private companies and pubic power utilities (US Department of Homeland Security, 2015). The Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Energy (DOE) defense related nuclear facilities and nuclear materials do not fall under the Nuclear Sector (US Department of Homeland Security, 2015).

The risks associated with the Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector include natural disasters, aging infrastructure and workforce, deliberate attacks and terrorism, cyber-attacks, and supply-chain disruptions. If this sector experienced failures, disruption, or destruction it would greatly affect the Transportation, Communications, Energy, Healthcare, Information Technology, Emergency Services, Chemical, Critical Manufacturing, and Water Sectors all of which are interdependent on one another.

How are the public and private sectors being coordinated to assist in securing these sectors?

Many of the Critical Infrastructure Sectors and subsector examined this week are operated and some are owned by the private sector. Each sector is highly regulated but require coordination, cooperation, and information sharing practices to secure. All sixteen infrastructure sectors operate under the NIPP 2013 partnership structure, “which encourages participation from the private sector; government partners at the Federal, state, local, and regional levels; and academic and nongovernmental organizations that support sector security and resilience” (US Department of Homeland Security, 2015, p. 13). The sector coordination is led by the DHS which functions as the Sector-Specific Agency (SSA) serving as the primary Federal interface for the resilience efforts, promotor of sector-wide information sharing efforts, and the implementation of the NIPP- 13.

References

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. (n.d.). Dams sector. Retrieved from https://www.cisa.gov/dams-sector

Lewis, T.G. (2014). Critical infrastructure protection in homeland security: Defending a networked nation. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/reader.action?docID=1813343&ppg=235&tm=1517327115677

United States Department of Homeland Security. (2015). Dams sector-specific plan: An annex to the NIPP 2013. Retrieved from https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/nipp-ssp-dams-2015-508.pdf

United States Department of Homeland Security. (2015). Energy sector-specific plan. Retrieved from https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/nipp-ssp-energy-2015-508.pdf

United States Department of Homeland Security. (2015). Nuclear reactors, materials and waste sector-specific plan: An annex to the NIPP 2013. Retrieved from https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/nipp-ssp-nuclear-2015-508.pdf

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