Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection Essay

Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection
Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection

Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection

Order Instructions:

Read the required literature, especially National Infrastructure Protection Plan (2009), pp. 76-79; and, Sector-Specific Plans (SSPs), Department of Homeland Security. Answer the following:

1. Explain the relationship of National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and Sector-Specific Plans (SSPs). Also, their relationship with Department of Homeland Security.

2. Explain the function of an SSP; choose a particular SSP and describe its purpose. Also, why did you choose that particular plan?

3. What are some lessons learned from past natural disasters? Explain in terms of people and infrastructures? Be specific.
Length: This Case Assignment should be at least 3 pages not counting the title page and references.

References: At least two references should be included from academic sources listed below.(e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles). Required readings are included. Quoted material should not exceed 10% of the total paper (since the focus of these assignments is critical thinking).

Organization: Subheadings should be used to organize your paper according to question.

Required Readings:

1) National infrastructure protection plan (2009). [Read 5.2 The CIKR Protection Component of the Homeland Security Mission, and 5.3 Relationship of the NIPP and SSPs to Other CIKR Plans and Programs, pp. 76-79]. Retrieved November 18, 2012 from:

2) President Obama (2010). Presidential proclamation–Critical infrastructure protection month. The White House, November 30, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2012 from:

3) Sector-specific plans (SSPs) (2012), Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved November 18, 2012 from:



Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection

Relationship between National Infrastructure Protection Plan, Sector Specific Plans and Department of Homeland Security

The sophisticated nature of America’s infrastructure such as cyber network, power plants, transport network, and many others are the engine that drives America’s economy and society in achieving the nation’s growth potential. The national infrastructure is essential for the smooth running and the functioning of American society, yet these vital infrastructures are faced with greater risks that the 21st century presents, greatest among them being the terrorist attacks and other natural and man-made disasters. The risks pose a threat to halting or disrupting the functioning of the economy, and protecting them is crucial as this will enhance public security, protect the health and safety sector, economic vibrancy and improve general quality of life in the nation. It is against this background that the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was established in 2006 and later reviewed in 2009 to identify America’s Critical Infrastructure and Key resources (CIKR) in order to protect them from likely threats (NIPP, 2009).

National Infrastructure Protection Plan, NIPP, was therefore established to identify the infrastructure and resources that are critical to the United States of America (USA), prioritize them, since not all resources are equally important, and then protect them from the likely threats such as terrorist attacks and other man-made and natural catastrophes. Protection, in accordance to NIPP, involves adopting plans geared towards alleviating the risks, preventing the threats from taking place, or diluting the effects resulting from such disasters taking place. Such plans include actions such as boosting security, increasing surveillance, enhancing resilience among other measures. NIPP is supported by Sector Specific Plans (SSPs). US economy is composed of various sectors with various needs, issues and concerns. For this reason, SSPs were also formulated soon after NIPP and several specific sectors were identified, such as banking, public health, energy, defense, transportation, emergency, among others (Homeland Security, 2013). The sector specific plans are suitably designed to address the concerns of the various sectors identified. NIPP and SSPs are related in the sense that SSPs support the NIPP in identifying the nation’s goals and priorities, and proving protection. Also, there are eighteen sectors within the sector specific plans which are within the NIPP. Both NIPP and SSPs therefore complement each other in addressing the nation’s protection plans. The SSPs also outlines the road map and a framework that enables the NIPP to implements its action plans in all the identified sectors. In other words, the SSPs provide support to implementation of the NIPP and together they provide a means identification of the vital infrastructure, their possible threats and protecting them from such threats.

Both NIPP and SSPs form an integral part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NIPP and SSPs were formed under the DHS. This is because the Department of Homeland Security is the one that has the vital obligation and responsibility of pioneering the Nations efforts geared towards providing protection to the nation’s infrastructure and strengthening security situation of the nation in order to avert threats, or reduce their impacts should they occur (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2008). The DHS also monitors, supervises the NIPP and SSPs programs and ensuring that its objectives are kept on track and achieved.

Description and Functions of an SSP

The Structure Specific Program, SSP, is a detailed set of plans that are established and identified by a Sector Specific Agency. Within the critical infrastructures identified in NIPP and DHS, the Sectors specific Agency is supposed to come up with specific plans suitable for each sector that are implemented in liaison with the NIPP. These set of plans for the specific sectors are what are termed as Sector Specific Plans (Homeland Security, 2013). The SSP is meant to serve several functions including:

  • Providing the framework that identifies the nation’s critical infrastructure, assessing their possible threats and vulnerabilities, and then giving them priority protection based on assessments of the risks likely to face them.
  • Defining a sector’s duties and responsibilities and identifying their security partners as well as the body responsible for regulating the sector.
  • Enhancing partnering and interaction among sectors by encouraging sharing of information and coordination of sector activities.
  • They also establish the aims and objectives of the sectors and their respective partners. The goals are directed towards protecting a particular sector.

A good example of a sector specific plan is the Emergency Services sector specific plan, (ES SSP).  The Emergency Services Sector, ESS, deals with disaster preparedness and provision or rapid responses to sudden disaster in the nation. It also trains emergency personnel, provides emergency services by anticipating emergency threats, preventing them or reducing the impacts of such disasters, and also enhancing resilience and helping those affected by the disaster to quickly recover (Homeland Security, 2013). It aims at protecting the environment, safeguarding individual properties and minimizing vulnerability. It also entails responses to disasters such as fire, health risks. The emergency sector specific plan is the most crucial, according to me, as it serves to reduce the impacts of sudden man-made and natural disaster by providing swift response. It is also concerned with saving lives and properties of individuals as well as protecting the environment.

Lessons learnt from past Natural Disasters (Example, hurricane Katrina)

Naturals disasters have in the past rocked the nation and caused massive destruction of infrastructure, human loss, destruction of the environment, health risks and general panic and economic slump. Some of the worst natural disasters to have hit USA include hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions. The worst natural disaster in recent times is the Hurricane Katrina. This disaster is the worst in America’s history in terms of human loss and financial implications. It is estimated to have claimed about 1,800 lives and cost damages amounting to $18 billion. Among the lessons learnt include,

  • There is need to enhance the responsiveness during disasters and train more rapid response teams to minimize impact of disasters.
  • The nation was not well prepared to handle a disaster of such magnitude
  • There was need to increase regional coordination and planning
  • It generated a necessity to implementing the National Infrastructure Protection Plans
  • The federal government need to incorporate volunteers, NGS and other sectors to boost its efforts during a disaster.

In conclusion, the twenty first century poses widespread risks and threats to the general infrastructure of the nation. National infrastructure is very crucial in the smooth function of the economy, strengthen investor confidence and steer growth. It is necessary, therefore, to implement the National Infrastructure Protection plan and its constituent SSPs to reduce threat, increase disaster preparedness, promote resilience and recovery, and to provide general protection and security to both the physical and cyber infrastructure. Disasters, natural or man-made, may be difficult to eradicate, but their impacts can greatly be reduces if specific security and protection plans are implemented.


Homeland Security (2013). Hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Subject: ‘The Department of Homeland Security at 10 Years: A Progress Report on Management’.

National Infrastructure Protection Plan, (2009). Partnering to Enhance Protection and Resiliency. US Department Of Homeland Security.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (2008). “Sector-Specific Plans,” retrieved from (April 8, 2010).

We can write this or a similar paper for you! Simply fill the order form!

Unlike most other websites we deliver what we promise;

  • Our Support Staff are online 24/7
  • Our Writers are available 24/7
  • Most Urgent order is delivered with 6 Hrs
  • 100% Original Assignment Plagiarism report can be sent to you upon request.

GET 15 % DISCOUNT TODAY use the discount code PAPER15 at the order form.

Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: