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Journal of Challenges

June 2015, Volume 2, 2, pp 43-57

Milk or Wine: Are Critical Infrastructure Protection Architectures Improving with Age?

Robert Spousta

,

Steve Chan

Robert Spousta 1 Steve Chan 1 

  1. Sensemaking Fellowship, Swansea University (SU)’s Network Science Research Center (NSRC), Wales, UK 1

on Google Scholar
on PubMed

Pages: 43-57

DOI: 10.18488/journal.85/2015.2.2/85.2.43.57

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Abstract:

This paper contextualizes the nature of threats to critical infrastructure, especially vulnerabilities within electric grid systems, and analyzes key considerations for the protection architecture of such systems. By exploring historical case studies, we demonstrate the potential for blind spots in infrastructure protection policy, which can leave electric grids vulnerable to a variety of threats, including improvisational malignant devices. These devices in turn have the potential to catalyze cascading failure scenarios within interdependent critical infrastructure systems, constituting “wicked problems” of complexity that bear relevance to a variety of public and private institutions responsible for the provision of essential services.

Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature on critical infrastructure systems by investigating the brittleness of such systems from a novel conceptual perspective and applying previously unexplored historical parallels.

Keywords:

Aluminum foil kite, Brittleness, Resilience, Collaborative big data analytics, Complex systems, Critical infrastructure protection, Improvisational malignant device,  Sense making, Smart electric grids.

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