Protecting our most valuable assets

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496_3138772There have been increasing reports that hackers from unfriendly nation states have been probing the defenses of our critical infrastructure with regularity. In case you aren’t aware, our critical infrastructure are 16 sectors deemed critical to the ongoing operation of our country. They include: Chemical, Commercial Facilities, Communications, Critical Manufacturing, Dams, Defense Industrial Base, Emergency Services, Energy, Financial Services, Food and Agricultural, Government Facilities, Health Care and Public Health, Information Technology, Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector, Transportation Systems, and Water and Wastewater Systems. While each is important, they all rely heavily on energy for their continuing operation. This means that power generation is the keystone to our nations operations and without electricity every other sector grinds to a halt.

Protecting this vital sector is therefore of prime concern for those with a vested interest in cybersecurity. The protection of these assets is a layered defense that includes physical and electronic barrier. The physical barriers, fences, guards, and other surveillance devices protects the physical plants, but the electronic barriers, the cybersecurity barriers, protect the digital systems that operate the plants. Those barriers must, underscore must, be of the highest possible protection, and furthermore, ungraded to meet future attacks.

Those with malicious intent are clever, cunning, and relentless in their efforts to breach our systems. We must be equally clever and relentless in our defense. If we fail, the lights will indeed go out.


About Jane LeClair

Jane is currently a Senior Advisor for the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as dean of the school of Business and Technology at Excelsior College in Albany, NY. She is a vocal advocate for attracting and retaining more women in the technology fields and established the Dr. Jane A. LeClair Scholarship Fund for Women in Technology at Excelsior College in 2012.

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