04 Jun Security in critical infrastructures
Use electricity, drink a glass of water, take the subway, use a card to pay, a phone call, check the weather tomorrow … All these actions that one day we are used to doing can be done thanks to to security in critical infrastructures. And it is that without them, both the general services and the financial services of a country would be susceptible to attacks that would cause enormous chaos in our daily lives.
What are critical infrastructures
All the essential activities of a country are part of its critical infrastructures; power plants, rail transport, banking system, water and telecommunications systems and all services dependent on the Administration.
According to the European Directive of December 8, 2008, 2008/114 / CE, critical infrastructure is defined as: “An element or system located in the Member States essential to maintain vital social functions, physical integrity, health, and economic and social well-being of a population, the destruction or disturbance of which would seriously affect the destabilization of the functions of a member state “.
This means that any system is virtual or physical that provides essential services and functions for a country is called critical infrastructure. Any interruption or alteration in its operation can destabilize the social, environmental, economic or political system of a nation. And all this includes both natural causes (such as floods or earthquakes) and man-made (cyber attacks, terrorists, etc.).
In Spain, the body in charge of security in critical infrastructures is the National Center for the Protection of Infrastructures and Cybersecurity (CNPIC).
What are the security threats?
Critical infrastructure security is essential to a country’s national security strategy. In the case of Spain, our Government classifies cyber espionage, cybercrime or hacktivism, as one of the main existing risks, even classifying them at the same level as terrorism or the migratory crisis.
The critical infrastructures of a country can be threatened in different ways, for this reason it is necessary to install a security system in them. These are the main classified risks:
- Terrorist attacks: There are different terrorist movements such as Daesh / ISIS that are characterized by their modes of action hitting different vital infrastructures of the countries.
- Weapons of mass destruction: They pose a great threat to international security and peace due to their destructive and unexpected nature.
- Organized crime: Capable of major destabilization for profit. One of the latest manifestations is organized violent groups, capable of creating serious incidents in large cities and frightening society.
- Espionage: Both in its virtual and real forms, it is one of the constant threats carried out by third countries or foreign companies. For these purposes, the creation of cyber intelligence groups takes on a special role in the security spheres of the security forces of a state.
- Airspace vulnerability: It is the set of actions against commercial aviation or the systems in charge of navigation control. For these purposes, drones are generating a new level of threats, since they facilitate various actions such as espionage, risks against citizen security or terrorism.
- Vulnerability in the maritime space: In the case of Spain, it takes on special importance as it is a peninsular country. The greatest risk factors can come from criminal acts (terrorism, piracy or illicit trafficking) and from causes of nature (natural disasters or maritime accidents).
- Natural catastrophes: And not only those that have their origin in the forces of nature. Pandemics, epidemics and effects promoted by climate change also fall into this category. These types of actions can easily destabilize a society, as well as the economic development of the country.
- Unclassified causes: Any disruption to the infrastructure of strategic services can cause problems in the operation of essential services or alter the security of a nation.
Examples of critical infrastructure
Critical infrastructures are usually similar in all countries, although there may be differences depending on their resources, needs and level of development. They are usually grouped by sectors or strategic areas such as:
- Administration: Facilities, basic services, information networks, national heritage and monuments.
- Financial-tax: Banking entities, government computer systems …
- Food: Companies or organizations dedicated to storage, production and distribution.
- Water: Treatment facilities, networks, reservoirs, storage …
- Production and distribution of energy networks: Oil pipelines, power plants, gas pipelines …
- Nuclear power plants: Storage, production and transport of nuclear, radiological materials, dangerous goods …
- Chemical industries: Transportation, storage and production of chemical materials.
- Health and sanitary infrastructure.
- Research: Laboratories producing dangerous or critical substances.
- Transport: All the infrastructure related to airports, railways, ports, public transport networks, intermodal facilities, traffic regulation and control systems …
- Communication and information technologies: Telecommunications networks, switchboards and those that can provide information to other critical infrastructures.
- Facilities related to outdoor spaces.
Microsegur, specialists in security in critical infrastructures
In the case of Spain, more important steps are being taken every day to guarantee the security of critical infrastructures, both in public and private spheres. In our country, although this type of infrastructure is classified as secret, it is estimated that there are more than 3,500 recognized.
That is why providing adequate security solutions is somewhat complicated, even for an organization as prepared as our protection forces. This is the reason why there is an intimate rapport between the Public Administration and the private security companies.
And one of them is Microsegur, since we are specialized in security in critical infrastructures, providing innovative and avant-garde solutions such as:
- Intelligent video and management software analysis.
- Perimeter detectors.
- Fence sensors.
- Fire protection.
- Closed circuit television (CCTV).
- Access control.
Our experience and knowledge in industrial safety engineering allows us to install and maintain effective protection systems in all types of industrial sector facilities such as industrial plants, refineries, power plants, generation plants, nuclear plants, water treatment stations, centers of data processing, etc.
With Microsegur services it is possible to control large areas of risk and offer security in critical infrastructures, thanks to the specialization acquired in protection, both perimeter and interior in large areas.