In Pursuit of Resilience for Critical Infrastructure
The need for a new approach to planning for resilience, using consequence-based assessment tools, and a new “resilience regulatory compact” for investments in critical infrastructure.
The frequency and intensity of disruptive events these days has led to a growing interest in “resilience”. It is generally defined to include efforts to better withstand man-made threats and naturally occurring hazards, as well as to be prepared to respond and recover when the disruptive event or threat occurs. It can be applied to weather events or cyberattacks and how certain industries and sub-sectors can ensure business and operational continuity.
I have observed that many in industry or the regulatory community, when discussing resilience, are immediately asking for “metrics” to define results. They seem to expect that a scientific calculation could be devised to guide their decision making. Such calls have become more insistent in the wake of the Texas Power Crisis triggered by Winter Storm Uri and have been incorporated in other recent storm response reviews in New England. Recent cyber hacks that have targeted energy infrastructure, such as the Colonial Pipeline and a Florida water system, have highlighted the need for new assessment tools that can guide efforts to ensure mission readiness. However, we are still only in the early days of developing and implementing resilience measures for critical infrastructure. And I am of the opinion that there are efforts that we must take that go beyond simply relying on such calculations.
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About the Author
Richard S. Mroz is Managing Director of Resolute Strategies, LLC and Archer Public Affairs in Trenton NJ and Washington, DC, as well as Senior Advisor to Protect Out Power, a national advocacy organization for cybersecurity in the electric grid. He is the former President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and former Chair of the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of regulatory Utility Commissioners.
Mr. Mroz is a Distinguished Corporate Fellow at the Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University.
About GRI Distinguished Corporate Fellows
Serving as a GRI Distinguished Corporate Fellow (DCF) signals a mutual desire to find projects through which our collaborative participation can actively embed resilience design, planning, practice, and technology. Designation as a DCF is a recognition made to exception professionals from private business and industry to share GRI’s commitment to advance societal resilience.