About the security of critical infrastructure in the state of Israel
Material posted: -Publication date: 22-05-2012

The study of techniques and methods to ensure the security of critical infrastructure on the example of approaches used in Israel today can serve as a model or "classic of genre". The years of conflict in the middle East has made the Israeli security approaches one of the most effective. It is well known that developed in Israel, the security system of airports (one of the affected sites critical infrastructure) today, the most effective of other world analogues.

The study of techniques and methods to ensure the security of critical infrastructure on the example of approaches used in Israel today can serve as a model or "classic of genre". The years of conflict in the middle East has made the Israeli security approaches one of the most effective. It is well known that developed in Israel, the security system of airports (one of the affected sites critical infrastructure) today, the most effective of other world analogues.

Against this background of particular interest that recent months are characterized by increased activity of the Israeli expert community in the field of security of critical infrastructure. It and is clear – during the last months the situation on the verge of hot conflict in the region. This time, the main emphasis in research is placed on the need to improve elements of security related to information systems and technologies, as reflected in the relevant documents of the government of the state of Israel.

So, Israeli experts infrastructure is defined as criticalif the violation of its functioning may result to substantial socio-economic disruption that could undermine stability in society and thus lead to threats to national security. It is emphasized that infrastructure is a system that combines various objects, links between them, and providing certain types of human activity.

According to Israeli approach, there are three classifying characteristics that uniquely identify the critical nature of the infrastructure.

The first sign is the symbolic significance of the infrastructure. The objects of cultural heritage (museums, archives, religious buildings and other monuments) refer to the number of objects that must be protected in the first place. Also to objects of high symbolic value, Israeli experts, include those that are related to the ability of the state to control the situation. If, for example, the enemy manages to inflict damage to infrastructure, directly linked with the government (Central media, websites of ministries and agencies, etc.), it is detrimental to the image of the government, even if retained the ability of the affected infrastructure elements to continue their work. In addition, such actions there is a delayed effect, which leads to a decrease of public confidence in the current administration, its ability to control the situation in the country.

The second sign is a direct dependence of key processes of life-support of society against this or that infrastructure. This category refers to the mains, water supply networks, Sewerage systems, General telecommunication network, on which depend the processes of governance in other infrastructures.

The third feature includes the complex relationships and interaction infrastructures. Experts suggest that the rapid development of society and the formation of a complex weave of mutual infrastructures of different nature leads to their mutual influence, when seemingly minor damage in one infrastructure can cause an avalanche of failures in other infrastructures. It is stressed that relations between different infrastructures is not completely understood and the failure of one component can cause a wide range of difficult-to-predict damage.

For understanding this problem in the context of possible cyber attacks, Israeli experts propose to consider the following types of failures:

1. Normal (standard) emergency. The situation, when in case of certain emergency the first to suffer the geographically close objects. According to Israeli experts, such a development is unlikely for the case of a cyber attack.

2. Multilevel cascading failures and emergencies. Thus, the destruction of the control system in one infrastructure (e.g. drainage infrastructure) leads to failure in the secondary infrastructure (e.g. in transport) and then into tertiary (e.g., supply chains of food and other goods), etc., even if the direct impact on the infrastructure never happened. This development may well reflect the situation at the end of a successful cyber attack.

3. Increasing (aggravating) failures. The disruption of one infrastructure (e.g., communications network) to the detriment of abilities to restore and elimination of consequences of other accidents on other infrastructures (failure of communication lines during the elimination of other accidents, for example, the water utility).

Applying the above classification that allowed Israeli specialists to offer a logical, orderly algorithm of work of government departments on elimination of consequences of the problems, and to help improve the overall security of Israeli society.

Some works of Israeli experts, is devoted to the analysis of the problem of security of critical infrastructures, States that today it is extremely important to consider the changes that occur in the area of security: the majority of infrastructures today, complemented by information component that requires revision in a number of cases, the current approaches to security. Experts note that Israel's policy of protection of critical infrastructure was first formulated ten years ago and today requires improvement. In 2011 the government launched a national initiative in advising the government on cyber security issues. National cyber expert Committee of leading scholars and practitioners, working under the auspices of the National Council for research and development in the Ministry of science and technology of Israel, formulated the basic guidelines of building a new national cyber security strategy.

7 August 2011 the government of Israel adopted a resolution on the issues of information security, which inter alia were the following key points: instructed to establish a national headquarters for cybersecurity in the office of the Prime Minister of the country; instructed to streamline the organization and responsibility for management of the cyberspace of the state of Israel; the task is to promote the protection of cyberspace in Israel and to promote research and development in the field of security of information systems and in the field of supercomputers.

Tags: security , information war , Israel