Critical infrastructure is a vital factor of operations for any national or state-level entity. The advent of several global standards for managing critical infrastructure risk has provided guidelines for CI entities to enhance their risk resilience.

Critical infrastructure is also concerned with the provision of socio-economic development, national security, and essential services—meaning CI entities are also critical for almost any organisation operating within a country. 

Nations and organisations across the world have understood the obvious importance of these entities and have established a number of local and global standards for critical infrastructure risk management.

Here are the most important global standards for risk management in critical infrastructure that you should know about.

Global critical infrastructure risk management standards you should know about

Following global standards for risk management in critical infrastructure can help governments and other related CI organisations ensure a higher level of risk resilience.

Here are some of the most important standards that should inform the risk management programmes associated with your CI entity.

ISO 31000 – Risk management
Although not directly associated with critical infrastructure risk management, ISO 31000 is one of the most recognised risk management standards globally that help organisations establish effective enterprise risk management programmes.

The guidelines provided by ISO 31000 can be utilised to establish risk management procedures that improve the risk resilience of critical infrastructure entities.

It offers this capability by enabling organisations to increase the likelihood of achieving objectives, improving the ability to identify opportunities and threats, and optimising resource allocation for risk treatment plans.

NIS Directive
The European Union’s Network and Information Systems Directive is the first piece of cybersecurity legislation for CI that applies to the entirety of the EU. NIS2 entered into force on the 16th of January 2023, replacing Directive (EU) 2016/1148.

This directive aims to improve the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure in EU member states by:

  • Creating a robust cyber crisis management structure (CyCLONe)
  • Improving the level of compliance with regard to security and reporting requirements
  • Encouraging member states to improve their national cybersecurity strategies with new areas for consideration such as supply chain, vulnerability management, core internet, and cyber hygiene
  • Improving collaboration with initiatives like peer reviews and knowledge sharing among member states
  • Including more sectors so that a larger share of the economy and society take measures to improve cybersecurity

DHS National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)
Developed by the Department of Homeland Security of the United States, the NIPP defines a risk management framework and CI protection roles and responsibilities for the DHS and a range of other security partners.

The goal of the NIPP is to improve the security and resilience of the USA’s Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CI/KR) to prevent, deter, neutralise, or mitigate risks to enhance national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster, or other emergency situations.

Here are the guidelines put forth by the NIPP to help in achieving these objectives:

  • Establishing coordinated risk-based CI/KR plans to address potential risks
  • Establishing adaptable structures to incorporate operational lessons learned and best practices
  • Establishing processes to identify and address dependencies and interdependencies to facilitate prompt implementation of short-term protective solutions alongside faster response and recovery times
  • Facilitating access to information-sharing networks including intelligence, threat analysis, and real-time incident reporting

The SOCI Act and the CIRMP
The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act of 2018 is the Australian government’s response to the rising risks in the critical infrastructure landscape.

The act outlines a range of measures to improve the security of 13 vital CI asset classes. The full implementation of the SOCI Act happened in 2022—which included the Critical Infrastructure Risk Management Plan (CIRMP)—along with Part 2A of the reforms.

The CIRMP Rules in particular are vital for risk management initiatives in critical infrastructure. It provides a set of principles-based outcomes. These are:

  • Identifying material risks associated with CI assets by taking an all-hazards approach to risk assessment.
  • Developing and implementing effective risk management strategies to manage the material risks identified within the CIRMP.
  • Maintaining and continually improving the risk management programme CI entities have established in line with the CIRMP Rules.
  • Reporting on the status of the plan to the relevant Commonwealth Regulator or the Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs annually.

Establish a robust risk management plan for critical infrastructure entities to ensure compliance and continuity

As primarily government-owned and operated entities, ensuring the highest standards of operation and compliance is vital for critical infrastructure assets. These global critical infrastructure risk management standards can be leveraged to create effective frameworks that will deliver on these requirements.

Furthermore, utilising digital risk management tools for critical infrastructure can result in more comprehensive risk assessments, a higher level of collaboration within and across organisations, and simplified reporting to relevant stakeholders.

Benefit from SECTARA’s expertise in CI risk management to improve risk resilience

SECTARA’s risk management solution ensures compliance with local and global standards and best practices for risk management such as ISO 31000, NIST, ISO 27005, PSPF, and more.

Our risk management software is made to be simple, precise, and accessible to all practitioners so that any level of risk practitioner can leverage our proven solution for effective risk management.

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