Risks and Vulnerabilities

Published: 2018-08-16 09:15:04
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Critical Infrastructure Protection

An article titled Vulnerability modeling and analysis for critical infrastructure protection applications gives a new model for vulnerability analysis and protection of critical infrastructure based on the Unified Model Language. The article was authored by Merrone et al and published in the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection in December 2013. The article is cited in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) style in both the in-text citations and the bibliography. In the text, consulted sources for the article are denoted by use of a number that is enclosed in square parenthesis. Each number represents a single source. The number is a hyperlink that directs the reader to the source at the bibliographic page provided at the end of the article. The first source that appears in the article is given number 1. The numbers increase with the increase in the sources consulted. Most of the sources cited in the text are not accompanied by the name of the author or authors, while a few of them are. In the bibliographic page, author(s) names, followed by the article name, the journal in which the article is published, date of publication and the page number are given.

There are several key points and findings that are indicated in this article. The first point underscores a railway station and the general railway services as critical infrastructure. It is considered a critical infrastructure due to the number of people served by the infrastructure on a daily basis. Secondly, railways services are an important national revenue generating entity, and economies of most countries significantly rely on this revenue. Additionally, the railway system is costly to establish and maintain, and governments invest a big portion of their budget on railways. Another point that appears in the introduction is the vulnerability of a railway station to terrorist and criminal attacks. The authors write that most railways stations are in the subways, making it easier for ill-intentioned individuals to launch successful attacks under the cover of these subways. In case of a terrorist incident, there is a likelihood of massive fatalities in a railway station. This paper recognizes the efforts put across by many countries in securing railway stations. Most stations have personnel, policies and equipment that ensure that they are safe for public use. However, there is evident lack of performance measurement to evaluate the effectiveness of the current security measures. According to this paper, most organizations use compliance measurements other than performance measurements in monitoring the security of critical infrastructure. Therefore, this paper provides a decision making model for the development of critical infrastructure security measurement based on the recommendations of the Methodological Tool for Railway Infrastructure Protection (METRIP). The model is dubbed Critical Infrastructure Protection-Vulnerability Analysis Model (CIP-VAM).

Quantitative evaluation

Another important point in the article is the nature of the proposed model. The framework of the model allows for quantitative evaluation of asset vulnerability. The model is developed with the three critical aspects of railway protection in mind. These aspects are attack proof systems, secure assets and application of protection technology. The authors are certain that the proposed model, which is coded in an extended Unified Model Language, meets all the requirements for industrial scale protection facilities.

After compiling a total of 541 railway attacks from 1971 to 2011, the researchers found that the attacks that had happened from 2000 to 2011 were more lethal than those which had happened earlier. In fact, these attacks targeted the public rather than physical establishments. The proposed model incorporates both decision making model and vulnerability testing model. According to the article, the model is able to generate quantitative models like petri dishes and Bayesian algorithms that are more effective in evaluating physical protection configuration and vulnerabilities.

Criminal justice system

The criminal justice system seeks to bring justice to victims and perpetrators of terrorists and criminal attacks. The model that is proposed by Merrano et al will go a long way not only in providing maximum security to critical infrastructure, but also in thwarting criminal and terrorists attack before they occur. Strong security systems will also facilitate apprehension of perpetrators of criminal and terrorist attacks should they occur in railway stations. When apprehended, the criminal justice system will try and sentence them accordingly. During and before trials, nabbed criminals will be persuaded to give up any criminal networks in which they operate. In other words, effective critical infrastructure protection will facilitate both protection of the public and apprehension of criminals, which will in turn prevent downstream criminal activities by annihilating existing criminal networks.

All the arms of the government are mandated to protect the interests of the public, and the judiciary is not an exception. In my opinion, the CIP-VAM will supplement the efforts of the judiciary in protecting the public from criminal operatives. Subway railway stations and indeed all crowded places are good hideouts for criminals, and this model when implemented will capacitate the existing security facilities in identifying criminal and intercepting them before they commit any heinous acts. This article therefore raises critical questions about how law enforcement can be streamlined with protection and vulnerability analysis of critical infrastructure. It also arouses curiosity of how the CIP-VAM can be applied in securing other critical infrastructure like airports and health facilities.

sheldon

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