Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security
The book, written by Ted G., Lewis (2006), has been considered a masterpiece in the field of exposing the critical security areas of our nation and how failures on securing any part could lead to a ripple effect that can see a breakdown of the other sectors of critical security concern and eventual security breach of the U.S.A. As a whole.
As a preamble, the book publishers and distributors take into account the technological trends and hence provide with it a CD-ROM attached to the back of the book that can enable one to use it and study it alone at home or in class setting. This provision makes it possible for students to copy the content and produce a video version that they own time at home.
The book also offers the possibility of support information and the updates access through their internet www.CHDS.us where one can contact for further referencing or enquiries (Wiley Online Library, 2010).
The masterpiece is suitable and indeed primary for military professionals, corporate world and the government agencies that are concerned with looking into the risks that the U.S. protection systems have and how to put into place protection systems.
The book passes well as a resource for the students studying national security matters, computing and any infrastructure related subjects at all levels, graduate or beyond (Lavoisier Librairie, 2011).
The book takes the reader through the evolution of various otherwise normal and basic infrastructures and how they have evolved with time and historical development to become critical and central infrastructure. The book takes a scientific approach to every infrastructure from as basic as water, to as complex as computer networks and internet.
Lewis covers the possible security lapses ranging from computer networks and possible threats, personal computer security issues, possibility of terrorism and how to prevent it and covers extensively the issue of appropriate civil defense.
With the continued globalization, the threat of terrorism is as real as any other traditional threat and the book doesn’t stay clear of it but extrapolates upon it. In the wake of 9/11 the book lays foundation on the possible study of how to prevent a repeat of the same. It lays bare dangers and the a hitherto never thought of possibility of rendering the internet useless, cutting off water supply, destruction of data processing computers and energy plants destruction.
The U.S. hold some of the most advanced and complex infrastructure in the world and their protection is of paramount importance, the book then goes further to try give suggestions on what infrastructure should be protected and how it should be protected.
The complexity of the protection is exposed in the book since the various infrastructures are intimately interlinked and each depends on the other for operation. As far as this is concerned, the book puts forth handful critical sectors which need to be given priority in terms of protection.
The writer categorizes these various infrastructure into ‘nodes’ and proposes there be formulation of policies to protect such for instance just a dozen or thereabout in the U.S. energy supply grid, roughly on hundred servers to maintain and run the world wide web and internet (Lewis, T.G., 2006).
Of interest to me in the book are three things; the internet, energy plants (sector) and the civil defense. These are the core areas that the book critically looks into as it tries to expose how vulnerable U.S. can be if these sectors are compromised and how to fortify their security.
The internet, in the current U.S. society is the ultimate communication tool that is both fast and reliable. People send message popup, mails and even cal over the internet across the world. Documents and classified information is passed on through the internet. And more and more companies now run thanks to the internet.
Communication from one security department to the other and even profiling of crimes and criminals is done over the internet. Basically the U.S. current society is purely run on the internet basis. This ranges from telecommunications and information, defense, postal and shipping, agriculture, emergency services, government, energy, banking and finance, public health, chemicals and hazardous materials are all dependent upon the internet (Global Security, 2011). The shutdown of such a critical infrastructure would be of unimaginable magnitude and repercussions. The book then comes in divulging means and ways of securing the internet.
The energy sector is another central and critical infrastructure that the book covers. The power that ensures the whole of the U.S. is running in terms of communication equipments and the offices. There is an absolute dependency on power such that any slight interruption would stall all sectors, ranging from the private home user to the traffic standstill along the highways. That would mean no movement and consequently the economy stalls.
The defense of the population is yet another critical aspect that the book covers and is of interest to me. It is the ultimate reason for the steady running if all other facets of the U.S. infrastructure. Everything does and should remain to revolve around ensuring the population is safe. The security should range from avoiding a repeat of the 9/11 incidence to unthinkable basic infrastructures like water as the writer puts it.
These infrastructures, as hitherto put, are closely interlinked, offering a unique dependency on each other. If the water situation as an infrastructure is compromised, then that would lead to compromise of the civil protection and defense affecting the entire economic web of the U.S.A.
It is interesting to note that the author proposes the invention of sophisticated yet practical answers to our information security problem and the computer network concerns in the various infrastructures. The varying areas to be covered by the sophisticated crafting include control system security, infrastructure modeling and simulation, themes and issues and the issue of risk management. To achieve this, the writer says the U.S. needs dedicated engineers, scientists, policy makers and practitioners, who will sacrifice their time into carrying out research, develop the solutions and implement it (Moore, T. & Shenoi, S., Eds. 2010).
From the above instances, it is clear that the critical infrastructures are those features of our nation’s social, political and economic system that the nation relies upon so much that a compromise of any level would render the U.S. extremely vulnerable and incapacitated to move on in any aspect of life. Since we heavily rely on them, their security is of great significance and the state government has and must continue securing them for a peaceful and stable USA (Collins a. & Bagget, K., 2009).
In a systematic summary, the book identifies the security weak points, the protection prospects and future protection. The first chapters summarizes the details on the Department of Homeland Security, the changes that the central infrastructure has taken over the years, offers a recap of the most critical pieces of legislations that have been passed including the presidential directives that have been issued and the general view of infrastructure in the U.S.
After the introductory chapters, there is a discussion of the various central infrastructures that are of national significance. It numerates the critical areas that drive the American economy and how they do so. These chapters expound on the possibility of attack and the vulnerability that these central infrastructure are exposed to, and the various reasons why they could be a target of terrorists some of which are listed above.
The last chapters try t expound on the Oall Hazards and also looks into the four pillars that can ensure security for the U.S. otherwise known as Homeland security pillars. It categorizes these pillars as:
Prevent; taking extra caution in terms of beefing up security for the vulnerable infrastructure noted above in the second set of chapters.
Prepare; having in place the appropriate response mechanisms that will enable the U.S. To cope with any disaster or unforeseeable eventual attack on the critical infrastructure, to avoid the 9/11 mayhem and lack of organization.
Respond; where disaster responsiveness and action at the time of the attack and shortly after is looked into, there is a well laid out proposed plan of how to handle any uneventful eventuality on any of the critical ‘node’ of the U.S. infrastructure. Lastly recover; which lays out how to come out fast and efficiently from a disastrous attack of any of the central infrastructure (Book News, Inc. Rev. 2009)
The book generally give us a scientific look at our current vulnerabilities in terms of infrastructure and the gaps in the homeland security as of today and prods the concerned authorities both in state government system and the research sector to come up and bridge the existing gap for a more secure U.S.. These will involve the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan as a response to the challenge and several other legislations and state projects and plans to ensuring the ultimate possible Homeland Security.
Book News, Inc. Rev. (2009). Homeland security and critical infrastructure protection.
Retrieved March 28, 2011 from http://www.ebc.com/booknewstt.php?isbn=9780313351471
Collins a. & Bagget, K., (2009). Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection.
Retrieved March 28, 2011 from http://www.abc-clio.com/product.aspx?id=54374
Global Security, (2011). Homeland Security: National Policy. Retrieved March 28, 2011 from http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/policy/national/index.html
Lewis, T.G., (2006).
Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland security: Defending a Networked Nation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Lavoisier Librairie, (2011). A scientific approach to the new field of critical infrastructure protection. Retrieved March 28, 2011 from http://www.lavoisier.fr/livre/notice.asp?id=OKLWRLAS6AKOWT
Moore, T. & Shenoi, S., Eds. (2010) Critical Infrastructure Protection IV. Retrieved March 28,
2011 from http://www.ebooksdownloadfree.com/Engineering/Critical-Infrastructure-Protection-IV-BI20993.html
Wiley Online Library, (2010). Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland security:
Defending a Networked Nation: Product Information. Retrieved March 28, 2011 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/0471789542
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