You are encouraged to use the library as a resource for this assignment.
This week, you will choose the critical infrastructure (CI) sector that you will focus on for the remainder of the term. Each sector can only be selected by 1 student unless student enrollment in this course is high, in which case, only 1 student may choose a subsector.
For example, you could select the transportation sector with subsectors of freight rail, roads, bridges, waterways, and so forth. The instructor will employ a first-come-first-served method of allocation.
When choosing your sector, keep in mind that later in the term, you will evaluate a network of assets (or nodes) within this realm, as well as conduct a risk assessment on at least 1 critical asset within that network.
You should choose a sector that is salient for you personally, and for which the network and asset you will examine are readily researchable or can be physically explored. The purpose of the vulnerability analysis and risk assessment you will undertake later in the course are to understand the principles of these functions, rather than master the processes of conducting these evaluations. Therefore, you should neither choose an obscure sector and assets to study, nor focus on over-exposed entities.
For this week’s assignment, assume the role of CI advisor to the senior leader or manager of a community, agency, or company of your choice. You have a vested interest in providing this leader with specific information about your sector, but you also seek to educate him or her on critical infrastructure protection.
Write a White Paper intended to both inform and influence decision makers in public and private entities on a given topic. Be sure to include the following:
- Provide clear, strong, and concise arguments about why the community, agency, or company should focus their research time over the next few months upon the CI sector you selected.
- Explain in your own words what CI sectors are, and why they are specially designated as such in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Discuss briefly the other CI sectors that are interdependent with yours.
- Consider and discuss 1 or 2 key potential networks and 1 or more critical assets within this sector to be explored later.
This White Paper should be no more than 3 pages long, 1.5 or double-spaced, 11- or 12-point font, well-organized, clearly delivered, mechanically sound, and comprehensive in content.
If you mention sources or deliver content that is in any way derived from material or ideas that are not original thought, include proper citations.
Cover information about your sector that will be the most important to this particular manager. Do not spend precious space on filler information such as the history of a sector, or overly broad views on international or national dependence upon the sector.
Keep the following in mind for when you will submit your Key Assignment:
If you feel that you need assistance with your writing skills, please contact your instructor early in the term, and you will be connected with appropriate sources for further assistance.
Create a presentation depicting a network drawn from within your chosen sector that you will examine and analyze for vulnerabilities and risks over the coming weeks. Your network must include more than 2 nodes, and it may contain physical or virtual links.
- Your network depiction does not need to be represented to scale, but it should reasonably illustrate the relationship between nodes and assets to each other, and it should give the viewer a sense of which nodes are critical.
- You may use a properly referenced graphic that exists elsewhere, but you should manually identify and magnify the key aspects of its nodes, links, and other notable features, in an original depiction.
- Be certain to also label your nodes, and describe each one in detail during the presentation.
- Remember that this network is a microcosm of the sector you selected. Be certain to characterize how and why this network is critical and worth examining.
- You may use any media or aids to deliver the graphic depiction of your network, such as PowerPoint, geographic maps, satellite imagery, photos, video, or any combination of such tools.
- Your instructor may ask you to share your network graphic, discuss it with your peers, or formally present it to the instructor or class.
- You must provide whatever narrative is necessary for your product to be stand-alone. For example, your PowerPoint may employ comments on the note pages.
Your presentation should be of sufficient length to cover both the breadth and important nuances of your selected network, and its included nodes or assets. In editing and packaging your work, however, you should remember that a manager or client’s time is usually constrained, so it is important to be concise and comprehensive if you seek to be effective.