Reducing Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructures

ISBN9782553015977 EditeurPresses internationales Polytechnique pages68 Parution2011-08-25
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Critical infrastructures are systems that provide the basic resources society requires, such as drinking water, transporta¬tion, telecommunications and energy. These resources are used by the population but also by other critical infrastructures. Given the high level of interdependence between critical infrastructures, failure of a single element can cause a domino effect with negative consequences for all other critical infrastructures and therefore the population. The potentially dramatic consequences of such failures have been highlighted by recent catastrophic situations, both at the national - the 1998 ice storm in southern Quebec - and international levels - the earthquake-related Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011.

Reducing Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructures results from years of exceptional collaboration between multiple public and private partners. It offers a concrete methodology for identifying and assess¬ing interdependencies between critical infrastructures. Using an ori¬ginal approach based on the consequences of failures rather than their causes, the methodology enables the creation of tools that integrate spatial and temporal parameters for anticipating and managing domino effects resulting from the failure of a given infrastructure in order to reduce the vulnerability of all infrastructures.
This book is primarily aimed at municipal risk managers, government services and essential services suppliers but also offers academics and students in management and engineering a new theoretical approach to risk.


The increasing complexity of critical infrastructures makes them ever more vulnerable to disturbances. And given the interconnections between these infrastructures, a disturbance in one can trigger domino effects that compromise multiple systems. Predicting the impact of these interdependencies is problematic: critical infrastructures form a dynamic and highly complex system that makes modeling difficult and information about them is often highly confidential.
Reducing Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructures presents a methodology to assess the interdependencies between critical infrastructures. The manual is particularly valuable for officials who wish to enhance their knowledge about critical infrastructures on their territory and implement measures to prevent or mitigate domino effects between these infrastructures. It will help managers of critical infrastructures assess their system's dependency on resources provided by other infrastructures and offers professionals, researchers and students involved in the field of risk management a good understanding of the challenges presented by modern critical infrastructures.

The methodology presented in this book is original in dwelling on the consequences of failures in critical infrastructures rather than their causes. It draws on the expertise of critical infrastructure managers and the operating systems of these infrastructures to develop a risk analysis based on the systems themselves rather than abstract notions of probabilities of potential system failure. In addition, the methodology employs a flexible mapping approach that allows managers to locate their infrastructures more or less precisely depending on the degree of confidentiality they wish to preserve. This allowance cleverly circumvents problems associated with the sharing of confidential data.
Benoît Robert is an engineer and a Professor at the École Polytechnique de Montréal as well as Director of the Centre risque & performance. Specialized in risks management, he is considered a pioneer in the assessment of domino effects in Canada.

Luciano Morabito is an engineer and a research associate at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is responsible for the development and the application of the methodology and the production of tools for modeling and managing interdependencies between critical infrastructures
Reducing Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructures - Methodological Manual

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Context: Critical infrastructures and interdependencies
1.2 Why this manual?
1.3 Who is this manual for?

Chapter 2 Specific Theoretical Concepts
2.1 Risk and vulnerability
2.2 Functional interdependencies
2.3 Geographic interdependencies

Chapter 3 The Challenge of Information Management
3.1 How the ownership and value of information inhibit sharing
3.2 The accumulation of large amounts of data and the complexity of updating it
3.3 The difficulty of integrating confidential data
3.4 The danger of using incorrectly interpreted information
3.5 The concept of flexible cartography

Chapter 4 Methodology for Evaluating Interdependencies among LSNs
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Winning conditions
4.3 Steps of the methodology
Step 1: Cooperative space
Step 2: Study zone
Step 3: Characterization of LSNs
Step 4A: Functional interdependencies among LSNs
Step 4B: Tools for managing functional interdependencies
Step 5A: Geographic interdependencies among LSNs
Step 5B: Tools for managing geographic interdependencies