Consider the dozens of actions you take every single day as a citizen in the United States. You turn on your light switch when you wake up; you get water out of your faucet to fill up the coffee maker. You drive on roads or take a bus to work; you buy items online and conduct your banking through the internet.
All of these actions are so common that they are nearly invisible to us in 2016, but the truth is they are all reliant on an underlying fabric of essential services that underpin American society and serve as the backbone of our nation’s economy, security, and health. That’s critical infrastructure and it’s something everybody in government should endeavor to know more about.
With that in mind, this GovLoop guide serves as an overview of critical infrastructure in government today – what it is, why it matters, how each sector works, and what you as a government employee need to know about it. We’ve included overviews of the 16 sectors that make up critical infrastructure in government as a whole, and delve into important statistics, functions, and definitions for each of them. We also interview two government experts who work in critical infrastructure in different capacities, to highlight how government actually safeguards our assets.
As you’ll learn in this guide, the definition of critical infrastructure is evolving and its operation is tightly interwoven with how the entire public sector works and serves the country. We hope this overview gives you a deeper understanding of what critical infrastructure in America means today, and how it might impact us in the future.