Hlsc 720- discussion 1-reply 1 | HLSC 720 – Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection | Liberty University

The thread must be a minimum of 250 words. MINIMUM OF TWO SOURCES BESIDES THE TEXTBOOK. Must cite at least 2 sources in addition to the Bible.

TEXTBOOK: Bennett, B. T. (2018). Understanding, assessing, and responding to terrorism: Protecting critical infrastructure and personnel (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 9781119237785.


Critical Infrastructure (CI) are businesses and government structures that the president has deemed to be extremely important to the operations of the government and country through Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21). If these industries fail the country will suffer in some way, which could include a food shortage if the Food and Agriculture Sector has a disaster. The disaster could be a flood or weather event but it could also be human made. According to Bennett, “Agroterrorism is the malicious use or threatened use of biological, chemical, or radiological agents against some component of the agriculture sector (livestock, food supply, crops, or workers) in such a way as to adversely impact a component of the agriculture industry, the economy or the consuming public” (Bennett, 2018, p 46). Crops are at risk from weather events but also these human created events.

            Hard targets are those that are more difficult to attack because they are protected by security and other physical ways that keep people out. Many but not all federal buildings are hard targets because many have fence lines that keep people out. Some may be protected 24/7 by security control points. Soft targets are those that are not as protected, such as a water treatment plant or chemical plant. Hard targets are known to attract attention of people who may want to do harm but soft targets may not seem like places that would be attacked. According to Bennett, “Terrorists will continue to have an interest in attacking hard targets but are also showing an increased interest in soft targets since they are often ill protected”. (Bennett, 2018, p 37) There has been an increase in cyber attacks on soft targets. Some of the critical infrastructure uses industrial control systems (ICS) which operates the machinery. An issue with ICS is that many do not have built in protections to protect from adversary attacks. According to Maglaras, “The operators can take control of the system remotely and issue commands such as opening a valve, setting a temperature point or starting/stopping a pump” (Maglaras et al, 2018, p 1). This is great to control the systems while the operator is not directly on location, such as during a snow storm when it is physically impossible to drive to the site. However, that means others who are not supposed to be on the system may also try to control it.

            The term cascading effect means that if the CI were to fail it would effect other industries and lead to more and more problems for the country. This could be that the power plant is attacked and the area suffers from a power outage. Now that there is no power schools and businesses cannot operate. This may also lead to a shortage of a particular item that is made in the area effected. An example can be seen when Hurricane Laura destroyed a chlorine chemical plant in Louisiana. Chorine priced jumped up, most noticeable for swimming pool chlorine for more than just the type of chlorine that was produced at this plant, so other types of chlorine went in shortage. While only an added expense and hassle to pool owners and overall, not a major impact on the country it came at the tail end of the toilet paper shortage. According to the Bible, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (English Standard Version, 2001/2008, Isaiah 41:10). The panic shows what happens when running on fear.

            In the area I live the most important CI would be between the government facilities sector and the defense industrial base sector. I live about an hour from DC in central Maryland, so there are a lot of jobs either working for the government directly or working as a contractor. If either of those sectors cannot function due to a natural or man-made disaster the area economy would suffer. The area is also stable through economic downturns because the government workers and for the most part the contractors historically have gotten paid throughout the hard times. If that were to change, the area would have no idea how to function.


English Standard Version Bible. (2001/2008). Crossway Bibles.

Forrester, J. S. (2022, November 3). Kik completes rebuild of biolab chlorine plant. powderbulksolids.com. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.powderbulksolids.com/chemical/kik-completes-rebuild-biolab-chlorine-plant

Maglaras, L., Ferrag, M., Derhab, A., Mukherjee, M., Janicke, H., & Rallis, S. (2018). Threats, Countermeasures and Attribution of Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructures. EAI Endorsed Transactions on Security and Safety, 5(16)https://doi.org/10.4108/eai.15-10-2018.155856

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