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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering

CETIFS

Interdependency Feasibility Study

Principal Investigator: Prof Robin Bloomfield

Contact: Prof Robin Bloomfield 

Funding Source: Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), EPSRC, and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)

Duration:  February 2008 - November 2008

Summary:

Ensuring continuous operation of Critical infrastructures (CI)s (such as Power generation and distribution networks, Telecommunication networks and emergency services) is imperative for the functioning of a society and economy. Governments and operators of CIs need to, therefore, ensure that the assets and services that make up CIs are secure (protected against attack) and are resilient to failure and large scale disasters, with minimal impact on safety, the economy and the environment.

One of the key challenges for the protection and resilience of CIs is identifying and understanding dependencies that exist between components of Critical Infrastructures (CI). Recent disasters, such as the Buncefield explosion of December, 2005, indicate that there are many "unforeseen" possibilities where a failure in one CI may have a detrimental effect on other CIs.

Currently, there is ongoing research in interdependency analysis at national and international levels, aiming to explore the occurrence, nature and effects of dependencies that may exist. There are several tools and methods from various fields and disciplines that are available for interdependency analysis. Many of these approaches involve integrated models and simulations with enhanced visualization capabilities that help identify (and estimate the consequences of) potential risks due to dependencies.

In conjunction with the Defence Academy, Cranfield and Adelard the aim of this project is to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of:

  • the development of tools and services for analyzing the interdependency between infrastructures, particularly information infrastructures, and assessing the associated risks;
  • establishing Interdependency Analysis as a distinct and recognizable service supported by tools and data.

The Technology Strategy Board have launched a new programme on Information Infrastructure Protection: Managing complexity, risk and resilience. A PDF file of the call can be obtained from here. Two reports from our study support this call:

  • Infrastructure interdependency analysis: Requirements, capabilities and strategy ( .pdf )
  • Infrastructure interdependency analysis: Introductory research review ( .pdf )

CSR Personnel: Prof. Robin Bloomfield, Kizito Salako

External Collaborators: Phil Nobles (Defence Academy, Cranfield), Nick Chozos (Adelard), Sofia Guerra ( Adelard )

Other relevant CSR projects: CSR is currently involved with a major EU-integrated project, IRRIIS ( Integrated Risk Reduction of Information-based Infrastructure Systems ), actively developing methodologies and techniques for the rapid identification and analyses of (inter)dependencies in Critical Infrastructure. More information, and a summary of CSR work on interdependency analysis in IRRIIS, can be found on CSR's IRRIIS webpage, here. CSR has also recently produced a report for DSTL titled "Evaluating the resilience and security of boundaryless, evolving socio-technical Systems of Systems". More details of this project can be found here while the report can be downloaded from here.

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version 2.36 Published: 19th Mar 2009