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"Critical Infrastructure" and its protection: the world experience and the need for implementation in Azerbaijan

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"Azerbaijan is in the 26th place in terms of the overall infrastructure development." Ilham Aliyev. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Introduction

The creation of the infrastructure system, which is the vital for country, was one of the strategic goals of national establishment in the years of independence.During evaluating processes related to incident in one of the substations of Azerbaijan Heat Power Plant LLC at the beginning of July, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev  in his speeches  emphasized the importance of reforms to regulate the system of national infrastructure and improve its quality, taking into account international experience. From this point of view, there is a big gap in the coverage and research of the problem of the "critical infrastructure”, its essence.

What is a "critical infrastructure”? The meaning of concept

"Critical Infrastructure" (hereinafter in the text- "CI”) is the focus of the attention of leading world countries over the past decade, as well as the expert and scientific community.

What does "critical infrastructure" mean? The meaning of the concept "critical infrastructure" is-the most important, strategic structures that provide the viability of the state. Even short-term distortion of CI – activity and function is understood as a system of objects that can cause serious risks for the state, society and economic losses. The synonyms of the word "critical" are "decisive, vital, strategically important" and etc. There are criteria that make the infrastructure critical important. The most important of them: 1.As a result of a short-term breakdown of its activity create a great danger for the stability, management and defense ability of society; 2.The crisis caused by the accident is a chain reaction ("The Butterfly Effect"), which can paralyze society's activity by spreading it to many other areas on the "domino principle".

As a concept "critical infrastructure” was used first time in October of 1996 in USA in a name of "Critical Infrastructure Protection Commission” signed by the decree of president of USA. In a "USA Patriot Act” passed after 11th September incident the meaning of "critical infrastructure” was define as: physical and virtual system and means collection which is very important for the state, destruction and spoiling of which can lead to hard results in national security and protection, economy and health care and etc. areas”.

It is no coincidence that, despite the global economic crisis, the market of critical infrastructure protection is growing; the revenues of this sector are growing at an unprecedented rate, growing at an annual rate of 10.1%. According to forecasts, this market will reach $ 135.48 billion in the next seven years - in 2025. The main reason for the growth of the market is the need for early identification of possible risks to the CI because of the potential threats of the states.  

Areas and classifications of critical infrastructure

UN Resolution 2341 (2017) states that "each state determines which objects of infrastructure are critically important and how to ensure their effective protection". Thus, the segments of the infrastructure defined in different countries may differ from the conventional consciousness of "strategic objects". For example, in the United States, in addition to the objects which providing vital activities, this area also includes activities such as "National Monuments (statues) and Historic Squares", "Electoral System", and diplomatic missions in other countries such as information/hybrid war goals (purposes).

In the Directive adopted by the Council of Europe in 2008, the main directions of CI systems and protection from member states are: "Infrastructure that can affect at least two member states as a result of the distortion or destruction of their activities and functions." In the Directive, this system include is not only "hard” physical, but also "smart” (social), virtual, and etc. infrastructures. For the 1st heat-energy system, communication lines, water supply, road transport, tunnels, oil pipelines, railways, harbors etc. For the 2nd is that of "socially-significant", which thereby affects economic development (Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), healthcare, schools and the creative sector. In the US classification of the CI are indicated 3 groups: "material/physical; cyber and human factor based”.

In advanced countries quantitative and qualitative criteria are identified by two groups of objects as infrastructure that is directly linked to national security; objects that are not directly related to national security, but are still required for sustainable operation; objects that could have a negative impact on the stability and image of the state, creating a threat to the life and abilities of society as a result of violation of its activities.

Activities of international and regional organizations related to critical infrastructure; international legislation

The United Nations (UN) is an international subject of critical infrastructure protection. In February 2017, the UN Security Council adopted the resolution about Protection of critical infrastructure(S / RES / 2341 (2017)). All members of the Security Council - 15 states voted for document, in which preparation participated by more than 40 member states.

The European Union (EU) is a regional and international subject of critical infrastructure protection. The issue of protecting critical infrastructures in the EU was first come to the agenda in 2004. In line with the request from the Council of Europe, The European Commission was prepared a document entitled "The Protection of the Critical Infrastructure against Terrorism".   The EU Commission has prepared Green Paper on key aspects of the CI's protection in 2005. In 2006, the European Program for the Protection of the Critical Infrastructure was adopted.

NATO's "Civil Defense Planning Committee" and 8 of its department one of the common direction of activities are CI protection. The Alliance is specifically mentioned it in the recommendation and guidance documents for the relevant member countries. In the Special Report of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly for 2007, the CI protection and objects, functions, missions, etc. issues in member countries were reflected.

Advanced world experience

"All the energy systems of our country should be analyzed, recommendations should be made by the international, leading, professional recognized institution in this field".

Ilham Aliyev. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

As noted, the establishment of a national security system of CI protection is new to the whole world and has accelerated after September 11 events. In some countries it happened in last 10, in some countries, 5 or 3 years.

United States of America (USA). The Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection was established on July 15, 1996. As a result of the final report prepared by the Commission, the resolution signed   in 1998 identified 8 infrastructures with critical criterion. In 2002, the National Strategy on Internal Security was adopted. Here is a list of CI objects and the state authorities they are subordinate to. The number of objects renewed annually varies between 14-18. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security was created as special institution of CI protection. In the United States since 1996, 11 legislative documents (strategy, national plan, law, directive etc.) have been adopted to protect the CI.

In the French law, the basic services and goods, systems that make up the foundation of the French society and its lifestyle are considered to be the CI. According to the "White Paper on Defense and National Security (2013) in France, the National CI System covers 12 sectors (8 responsible ministries, 253 Critical Operators, 1381 objects and activities of 300 responsible employee working on 24/7 mode on CI protection) and is governed by the 22 Official Directives adopted in this field.  

Canada adopted the National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure in 2009. The goal of the National Strategy is to "provide an integrated approach to risk and crisis situations, to build a more stable, sustainable and secure Canada". For this purpose, the National Strategy takes joint action on the federal, provincial, and local levels to provide more interconnected relations with 10 key infrastructure areas. Also, every five years, a new Action Program is defined.

In 2011 Germany adopted the "National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP Strategy). It emphasizes that the CI is the foundation of a modern prosperous society and violation of its functions results in unprecedented consequences for the state. The strategy differs with giving extensive place to the issue of "risk culture": "Without upgrading the level of public awareness and risk culture, no government agency or individual operator is able to secure the infrastructure and provide a hundred percent efficiency in operations. Formation of a new "risk culture" in society's outlook and security philosophy can help control the ever-growing threats to the CI."

The "Critical Infrastructure Main Strategy" adopted in 2009 In Switzerland, was replaced  in 2012 and 2017. The last "National Strategy for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure for 2018-2022" has identified the main goals and activities in this area and the adoption of 17 actions for their implementation. In Poland, in 2015, the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Program and the Two-Year Action Plan were adopted, listing a list of 16 CI objects. An Inter-Agency Commission for Civil Defense and Technology has been established in Italy as a political-military division.   In Israel, on the initiative of the "Studies and Research" department of the Defense Ministry, the staff began to work on the protection of the CI, and in 2002 the state adopted a special resolution.

Turkey's "National Security Strategy for Cyber Security" and the Action Plan for 2013-2014 noticed as critical infrastructures the infrastructures that cover information systems that may cause loss of life, large-scale economic damages (lesion), threats to national security or disruption of public order.  As for the CIS countries, the national system for the protection of CIs in Azerbaijan and Russia, as well as in many countries, has not yet formed, only one sector of its as Critical Information Infrastructure (CIP) was provided protection and security actions, legislative basis according world experience.

Critical infrastructure areas defined in some countries:

Areas of Critical Infrastructures

USA

Australia

Canada

Netherlands

Great Britain

Turkey

Azerbaijan

 

Russia

Energy system

X

 X

X

X

X

 

 

 

ICT system

X

 X

X

X

X

X

     X

X

Finance / Banks

X

 X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Health / Public Health

X

 

 X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Food

X

 X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Water supply

X

 X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Transport

X

 X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Security

 

X

Crisis service

X

X

Crisis service

X

 

 

 

State structures

X

 

 -

X

X

X

 

 

 

Chemistry

 

X

  -

X

X

-

 

 

 

Defense

Industry

 

 

 

 X

X

X

-

X

 

 

Other sectors

National Monuments. Symbols

 

National Monuments.Squares

 

X

Justice system

X

 

 

 

What are the challenges of the creation of the National Critical Infrastructure System?

The main purpose of this area, created in recent years in developed countries of the world, is: to develop preventive measures aimed at protecting new CIs in the management system, to minimize damage, to recover short-term viability, insurance from risks, the formation of flexible-reactive management, including the implementation of a complex education activity in the public opinion.

Almost with minor differences in their names all leading countries have created a new unit governance institution as National Critical Infrastructure System (NCIS) or the "Critical Infrastructure Protection System" (CIPS), and adopted national strategies in this area in recent decades. The main purpose of creation the CI system is to: identifying strategically protected objects, increase the durability, ensure continuous work, analysis and prevention crisis and risk, ensuring inter-sectorial coordination and monitoring to minimize losses if an accident occurs and restore the results as soon as possible.

In countries where such a national system is not established, the activities of different sectors are individually implemented. In such a case, there is a lack of coordination and information exchange among the subjects of critical infrastructure, making the operational response and consolidated activities impossible. This necessity has created the need for an appropriate body capable of implementing a single policy in the management system. This is reflected in the picture .

While each of the infrastructure areas have their own responsible subjects, in the absence of a joint action mechanism with other areas for common security,  the provision of sustainable operations of objects is exposed to risks. For this purpose is created the organizations responsible for the overall security of the CI and having the appropriate authority and rights worldwide.

Factors that Makes Needed Creation of Critical Infrastructure Protection System (CIPS) in Azerbaijan:

"Although the cause of the accident is important, the more important issue is that in a result destroyed the overall system. An additional action plan should be developed that will not affect the overall system in the future. This should be the main direction.  Investigations should be conducted."

                                   Ilham Aliyev. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

The term "critical infrastructure” is not yet familiar to most in society

The idea of general system was interpreted as a "red line" in the President's speech at the meeting according the accident at one of the substations of Azerbaijan Heat Power Plant (July 03, 2018). More precisely, the real causes of the accident are reflected in a systematic management of Cİ. It was emphasized that the coordinated activities and protection of these areas are the main direction. At the international energy forum, the Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan noted that, "Ensuring flexible, transparent and high quality management in the energy sector in line with global challenges is a strategic objective of the Azerbaijan state and all state support is directed to modernization and effective regulation of this sphere"

From the standpoint of what is said, the CI and its systematic management should be one of the most discussed topics of the day. In reality, however, the word "critical infrastructure", which is currently used in all leading countries, is not an insight into scientific lexicon, media agenda, analysis and reports on the activities of the relevant fields or in speech. This gives grounds to say that in general this area has not been adopted in the scientific-theoretical, practical, normative-legal aspect, and remains unknown.

We do not know if it defined or not in the State Commission's activities and documents, which was created by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan due to an accident at the substation of "Azerbaijan heat Power Plant" LLC. There is an unanimous conclusion that an analysis of accidents, whether accidentally or purposefully occurring in the CI system, is similar in terms of tactics, techniques, methodology and procedure.The world experience can be applied as a "mental mode" for the consequences of the accident and the actions to be taken in Mingachevir ES.

The incident that took place in one of the substations of Azerbaijan Heat Power PLANT LLC was not purely techno genic, as the head of state said, "it was both economic and political" and also socially significant, covering a wide range of problems. One of them, perhaps the first, was to emphasize the application of world experience in the field of management of similar infrastructure. From this point of view, reforming the systematic management has important place among the indicated versions.

In recent years, although it has not been called "critical" in our country, the reforms in infrastructure sector can be considered as important steps towards the formation of the relevant system established in the world practice. Examples of this can be actions managed for information security, communications and transportation, and recent month energy infrastructure and the establishment of centralized institution. As a result of the successful implementation of e-government and digitization policies in our country, the CI's sectors are entirely related to this area. Every government agency is increasing the number and types of its e-services day by day. Establishment of a number of information security and energy regulatory agencies in the course of the recent reforms indicate that the coordinated activities of the aforementioned entities are forming an important basis for establishing a single CI Protection System (CIPS) in the country in line with world standards.

Creating a National Critical Infrastructure Protection System (CIPS) – is a   challenge of day

Establishment of the CI system is new to all countries in the public administration system and constitutes megatrend in security in the twenty-first (XXI) century. The incident in Mingachevir showed that such cases could have a negative impact on the prestige of development and governance model of Azerbaijan, on the level of socio-political stability in Azerbaijan, which gained the status of the most stable space in a world drowning in crisis and chaos. In this regard, taking into account the most progressive aspects of world practice, the formation of a new critical infrastructure in the public administration system can make a significant contribution to the prosperous and high standard of living of our people.

The formation of a national CI system in Azerbaijan is a demand of the day. The factors that make it important are:

-          Guarantee of safety and stability in any area is an effective management and human factor.  Modern governance is in more risky and crisis management mode, with the ability to make emergency and flexible decisions in extreme conditions. This, in turn, has repeatedly increased the impact of human factors, system governance, professionalism and competence on processes in any area.

-          Azerbaijan lives in war condition. As noted, the main criterion of the CI is that it has objects, which is direct and indirect impact on the state's defense capacity. The protection of CI should be at a higher level in our country in compared to other countries.

А military analyst at "Turkey's Economic and Foreign Policy Research Center" and "Anadolu" Agency, Can Kasapoglu,   in his article entitled "Azerbaijan-Turkey: From Defense Cooperation to Military Alliance", says, that along with all the achievements and advantages of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, there is a deficiency of protection of the rear front that needs attention.The CI objects are became a target of terrorist organizations and enemy countries, and the range of threats and risks in this area is rising.

-    From the point of view of international cooperation, it is necessary to form the Critical Infrastructure Protection System (CIPS) in our country, which has the appropriate competence and mission as the world experience. Another issue which makes important the formation of a national CI protection system is international co-operation - the necessity of establishing similar institutions to work with different countries in this area. Completely destroying existing infrastructure in the occupied territories, aim at CI objects as the Sarsang reservoir, as well as the Mingachevir HES, the oil pipelines and etc.   should be evaluated internationally, within the framework of the United Nations and the EU's official documents mentioned above. Created in world practice, international formats of cooperation in the field of CI should be applied in Azerbaijan. In 2012, the United States, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand signed an agreement "Critical Five” - "Critical-5”. Let’s remind, that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and others are objects of KI and their protection is an integral part of the energy security of Europe and the South Caucasus. Under the aforementioned model, Azerbaijan can also sign agreements of the Critical-3 or Critical-5 format with European and regional countries ensuring energy security and joint protection of the pipeline and the logistics network.

-            Legislative and legal basis of the protection of the CI is one of the urgent issues. Today, there is no normative legislation in Azerbaijan that determines who and how to protect critical infrastructure, inter-sectorial communication activities, probable risks and threats. Legal regulation in the field of information security in our country remains system less and unconnected.The first step toward the preparation and implementation of a policy(regulatory) of management adequate for global challenges can be the identification of the National Action Program. Here can be the main targets, goals and objectives.

-            One of the most important aspects is the organization of large-scale communication and enlightening activities that cover capital and all regions, which can work with public opinion and provide mass education. The protection of CI is a nationally significant issue. Science and education system should be focused on research and development of the CI's protection. Improving the safety culture of the whole society, educating the worldview are one of the main issues. It is known that purposefully organized accidents are designed to create a "chaos effect” and a "mass psychosis” in society. So, the lack of adequate sensitivity in  the world outlook of society to the crisis and risks, in the background of the growing frequency of occurrence crisis and threats, was got the name "sensitivity paradox" in scientific researches. We would like to note that the leadership of the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM-Center) under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has recommended taking into account the relevance of this topic during presentations at different universities and institutions of the country and declared support in preparation of relevant scientific and theoretical materials.

       Summing up, the world countries have made a scientific analysis of the many crisis outcomes and have decided to establish new management structure-CIP, as a way to identify "vulnerable rings" in a huge systems in each country, to prevent accidents, and liquidation with minimum time and losses in case if it happened. At present, CI objects and subjects (operators) operate in isolation from one another in our country. 

Activities to be undertaken can be classified as: 1. Preparation of strategic documents, legislative frameworks and mechanisms; 2. Determination of the coordinating institution responsible for the protection of the CI; 3. Realization of operative-organizational activities. At present, CI objects and subjects (operators) operate in isolation from one another. From this point of view, the task is to create a national system of protection of all critical infrastructures, not just separate objects. It is the actual issue of the agenda in Azerbaijan, which is at the forefront of the development of the overall infrastructure in the world, to eliminate existing gap in systematic protection of this area with common efforts, in all directions and in a short time.

Tahira Allahyarova, professor, Head of Department of the Center for Strategic Studies(SAM), under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

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