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At the backend of every critical infrastructure is a critical information infrastructure, which keeps it moving. This is the nervous system of the critical information infrastructure as all communications & operations is nearly fully controlled by this system. From banking to power to oil, all that propels our existence is propelled by the information infrastructure. Such systems can be breached, simultaneously too, called Firesale.

The information infrastructure is fine overlay of IT systems; hardware & software over the physical infrastructure. It’s brings efficiency, saves Human Resources, supervision & monitoring improves, dashboard based operations & instantaneous communication becomes a reality. The challenge is that it can me manipulated and that too from anywhere across the globe. Besides, the outside adversaries, threat from internal employees is endemic.

Though the control of IT systems is increasing its not full & complete. Legacy systems come in way of it and given the very nature of the assets, replacement with upgrade is a huge investment. There are lots of IT/OT interfaces which ought to be streamlined & improved upon. This iterative improvement brings maturity to the operations& the internal Human Resources gain better control. Otherwise, in a crises situation, everybody is at a loss.

Starting from Estonia to Ukraine to Israel, the hacking of critical infrastructure is all too well known to the world. Stuxnet was a malware used a cyber weapon to stall the Iranian nuclear program. It was supposed to be the handiwork of US & Israel. It took a year to get detected. Both IT & OT systems gave way.

Gone are the days of physical warfare, it’s only Cyber War henceforth. Amongst the first targets, for obvious reasons would be critical infrastructure. Our expertise with the backend information infrastructure will only save us.


Sanjay Sahay

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