ANALYZING ISSUES, CHALLENGES, AND PROSPECTS by Myriam Dunn and Victor Mauer

By Myriam Dunn and Victor Mauer

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60 Risk assessment, however, does not offer any method for cataloguing objects, vulnerabilities, and threats at a strategic policy level, such as the economy at large, in a meaningful way. In addition, a preoccupation with technologies risks disregarding one rather central element of the information infrastructure – people. Humans are, in effect, one of the most substantial parts of the information “infrastructure”, as they provide, manage, and generate new information, operate, maintain, and occasionally even subvert other elements of information infrastructure.

In computing, it describes a set of computer components – an assembly of computer hardware, software, and peripherals functioning together. 39 Once again, the larger the system we want to address, the less sure we can be of our ability to define system boundaries in any meaningful way. Step 1 further includes the identification of all kinds of resources, assets, and information that constitute the system. An “asset” can be a tangible item (such as hardware), or a grade or level of service, staff, or information.

Lewis, op. cit. CIIP Handbook 2006 Understanding Critical Information Infrastructures 53 Static approach: Even though a risk assessment could theoretically be carried out on a daily basis, it is a static approach aimed at evaluating current systems and vulnerabilities. Since the process is time-consuming, there is always a delay until its results can be determined and implemented. This is especially worrying in view of the continuous rapid technological developments and because many related challenges and problems are only just emerging; the system characteristics of the emerging information infrastructure will, in fact, differ radically from traditional structures in terms of scale, connectivity, and dependencies.

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