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Critical Infrastructures

Introduction and motivation

Germany is one of the leading industrial and technology­oriented nations. Germany’s importance as a business location and ensuring the country’s competitiveness in a globalised world as preconditions for prosperity and progress significantly depend on the availability of high-performing and well­functioning infrastructure. A serious disruption or even an interruption of the services rendered via these infrastructures can have negative consequences for our society; in some cases, a failure can even result in severe impairments in social coexistence. If only small failures are tolerable or failures are not tolerable at all, this constitutes a service which is absolutely essential and thus vital for society; these services are rendered by so-called critical infrastructure (CI). The National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP Strategy) pursued by the Federal Government defines critical infrastructure as follows:

Definition:

Critical infrastructures are organizational and physical structures and facilities of such vital importance to a nation’s society and economy that their failure or degradation would result in sustained supply shortages, significant disruption of public safety and security, or other dramatic consequences.

In Germany, organisations and facilities in the fields of energy supply, information technology and telecommunication, transport and traffic, health, water, food, the financial- and insurance sector, state and administration as well as media and culture are counted among critical infrastructure.

overview of the nine sectors of Critical Infrastructures (Posterview will open in a new window) overview of the nine sectors of Critical Infrastructures (Posterview will open in a new window), sectors (Larger version opens in new window)The sec­tors of crit­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture in Ger­many

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