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Protecting critical infrastructure is not optional, it is a must. Energy grids, financial systems, healthcare facilities among other critical infrastructures are the backbone of modern society. Any disruption to operations, whether accidental via misconfigurations or as a result of a targeted cyber attack, can send ripples across nations.

This article shines a spotlight on the organizations at the front lines of critical infrastructure protection across the globes, who are dedicated to ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Contents

  1. What critical infrastructure protection means for the information technology sector
  2. Critical infrastructure protection in North America
  3. Critical infrastructure protection in Europe
  4. Critical infrastructure protection in APAC
  5. Recognizing the importance of critical infrastructure protection

What critical infrastructure protection means for the information technology sector

You may think that the realm of critical infrastructure Protection (CIP) is squarely in the government’s court, however, it is also a strategic asset for the information technology (IT) sector. Organizations deeply entrenched in CIP are not just gatekeepers; they are also enablers.

CIP providers offer the IT sector nuanced risk assessments and actionable intelligence that can be game changers. In an era where the lines between sectors are increasingly blurred, their role is vital for the cyber resilience of these sectors.

Critical infrastructure protection in North America

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is an official agency of the United States government focused on securing critical infrastructure and enhancing resilience against cyber attacks. Their mission extends to various sectors, including election security, critical infrastructure protection and cyber security awareness.

CISA’s services include:

  • Providing timely information on cyber threats and advisories.
  • Offering guidance and resources for securing critical infrastructure.
  • Focusing on the security of the ICT supply chain.
  • Regularly releasing new guidance and alerts on identity and access management, known exploited vulnerabilities and other operational information.
  • Promoting joint cyber defense through innovative collaboration and information sharing.  
  • Offering free cyber security tools and resources to help organizations advance their security capabilities.

Read more at https://www.cisa.gov/

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) 

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) serves as the single unified source of expert advice, guidance, services and support on cyber security for Canada and Canadians. The center focuses on various aspects of cyber security, including news and events, services for federal departments and tools and services for cyber security professionals.

CCCS provides:

  • Services and guidance to federal departments requiring Communications Security (COMSEC) solutions.  
  • A range of tools and services such as Assemblyline, Common Criteria, Crypto Module Validation Program, Tempest Program, Harmonized Risk Assessment Methodology and Cyber Security Audit Program.  
  • Resources to help understand and defend against ransomware
  • Collaborations with the industry and options to request a speaker for events.

Read more at https://www.cyber.gc.ca/en

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) – USA

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. It serves as a leader in cyber security, partnering with government, industry, law enforcement and academia to improve the security and resilience of computer systems and networks. The CERT Division has a rich history, having been the birthplace of cyber security by forming the first cyber security incident response team nearly 30 years ago.

CERT focuses on studying problems that have widespread cyber security implications and develops advanced methods and tools to counter large-scale, sophisticated cyber threats.  

CERT offers a diverse range of services including:  

  • Autonomy security and resilience.  
  • Cyber security center development.
  • Cyber workforce development.  
  • Enterprise risk and resilience management.  
  • Insider threat mitigation.  
  • Reverse engineering for malware analysis.
  • Situational awareness.  
  • Secure development.
  • System and platform evaluation.  
  • A platform for reporting vulnerabilities.
  • Various case studies for learning.

Read more at https://www.cert.org/

Critical infrastructure protection in Europe

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is a UK government organization aimed at making the UK the safest place to live and work online. The NCSC provides a range of services and guidance, focusing on various sectors including public and private organizations, as well as individuals. 

NCSC does this by:  

  • Offering white papers, collections and blog posts on topics like ransomware, extortion and the cybercrime ecosystem. 
  • Providing guidance on ‘Shadow IT’ and has added new techniques to their ‘risk management toolbox’.  
  • Initiating the CyberFirst Girls Competition to inspire girls interested in technology. 
  • Offering a free Early Warning Service for UK organizations with a static IP address or domain name.  
  • Providing targeted advice on various cyber security topics such as cyber aware, artificial intelligence, cloud, cyber strategy, passwords and authentication.  
  • Offering free advice and training through a tailored Cyber Action Plan. 
    Providing an overview of cyber security products and services, including NCSC certification and Cyber Essentials.

Read more at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/

Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is Germany’s national cyber security authority and is responsible for improving IT security across the country. The BSI focuses on various aspects of cyber security, including threat advisories, services for federal departments and tools and services for cyber security professionals.

BSI’s actions include:  

  • Continuously assessing the cyber security situation, especially in light of current events like the Russian attack on Ukraine and provides recommendations for IT security measures.
  • Offering a range of tools and services such as Assemblyline, Common Criteria, Crypto Module Validation Program and the Tempest Program.
  • Publishing a magazine called “Mit Sicherheit” that focuses on digital consumer protection, cyber security in healthcare and the Cyber Resilience Act.
  • Providing tips and explanations through videos on how to protect oneself online.

Read more at https://www.bsi.bund.de/

Critical infrastructure protection in APAC 

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) 

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is a part of the Australian Signals Directorate and leads the Australian Government’s efforts to improve cyber security. The ACSC aims to make Australia the most secure place to connect online and collaborates with business, government and academic partners both in Australia and overseas. 

ACSC helps promote cyber security by: 

  • Offering alerts and advisories on the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Providing resources for business and government, including the Essential Eight cyber security strategies and the Information Security Manual (ISM).
  • Offering a range of services to help businesses and government agencies respond to and recover from cyber threats, including reporting mechanisms.
  • Providing advice and information on how to protect oneself online, including steps for securing accounts, devices and email.
  • Offering a range of assessment and evaluation programs, such as the Australian Information Security Evaluation Program (AISEP) and the Essential Eight Assessment Course.

Read more at https://www.cyber.gov.au/about-us

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA)

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) is a governmental organization that leads Singapore’s efforts to improve cyber security. CSA aims to make Singapore a secure place to connect online and focuses on various aspects of cyber security, including threat advisories, educational programs and industry collaboration.

CSA’s offering includes:  

  • Alerts and advisories on the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities, such as zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple products and critical vulnerabilities in Python TorchServe Library.
  • Resources like the Internet Hygiene Portal to check the cyber health of your website or email connection.
  • Programs for different sectors including enterprises and security and IT professionals.
  • Encouragement for the reporting of cyber security incidents to better understand the scope and nature of cyber incidents in Singapore. 
    A range of certification and labelling schemes, such as the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme for Medical Devices and the SG Cyber Safe Program. 

Read more at https://www.csa.gov.sg/ 

Recognizing the importance of critical infrastructure protection 

In an increasingly digital world, the importance of CIP organizations cannot be overstated. From the US’s CISA to Singapore’s CSA, these entities are the bedrock of national and global security. They provide essential resources that enable businesses and governments to bolster their cyber defenses. 

Their collective aim is clear: to protect the vital systems that keep modern society running smoothly. As we face a myriad of cyber threats, collaboration among these organizations and the sectors they serve is crucial.

Safeguarding critical infrastructure is not just a national task but a global necessity. By engaging with these organizations, we all contribute to a more secure future. 


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