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By: Paul Binder | Mon, 13 Sept 2015 09:27:00 EST
A recent report by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) indicated that there are approximately 945 computer systems worldwide that are considered critical.
Among them are the internet, telephone, television, landline and broadband networks, as well as data processing devices.
All of them are critical to the delivery of critical information to and from the national security apparatus and the government.
When a critical computer system is under attack, such as during a massive cyber attack on a critical infrastructure like the US electrical grid, the damage is severe. It often takes months or even years for the IT infrastructure to respond to the attack and restore its services.
While there is some research going on that suggests that certain computer systems such as the network routers and the internet of things are under attack, it remains unclear how prevalent this is.
GCSB officials believe that the critical infrastructure is in need of the services that these devices provide to the telecommunications, financial services and other critical infrastructure sectors.
“The vast majority of those critical components are either located in one region of the country or have a regional reach,” GCSB??? ??? spokesman Patrick Smyth told CNBC.
He further explained that due to the limited bandwidth at the core, it’s very difficult for the critical infrastructure to function effectively in a manner that allows them to work effectively.
He explained that in order to help secure critical infrastructure in a decentralized fashion, there is no standard network protocol. Instead, these critical components work in a centralized fashion through special protocol interfaces. For example, one of the special protocol interfaces allows for the tran??????smission of files, in the apronxevent of an attack that would damage any data center.
Another example would be a telephone network that has no central interface. “It’s basically a global access point where the network can operate remotely without any particular external access point,” Smyth explained.
To help keep critical infrastructure in place, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed legislation earlier this year designed to streamline IT infrastructure regulation.
“In our ongoing efforts to protect America’s vital national critical infrastructure, the FCC is proposing legislation to provide stronger protection to the citizens of this country, protect critical infrastructure that is critical to the delivery of critical data to critical facilities and services, and create the rules and mechanisms necessary to ensure our national critical infrastructure is adequately protected while meeting the ongoing evolving needs of the 21st century era,