Critical infrastructure

All Jargon Busters
  • Critical infrastructure is a term used by governments to describe assets that are essential for the functioning of a society and economy – core infrastructure.
  • Critical infrastructure consists of systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, that are so vital the incapacity or destruction of them would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, financial stability, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.
  • Critical infrastructure includes:
  • • Communications
  • • Financial services and markets
  • • Data storage or processing
  • • Defence industry
  • • Higher education and research
  • • Energy
  • • Food and grocery
  • • Health care and medical
  • • Space technology
  • • Transport
  • • Water and sewerage
  • In Australia, the Security Legislation And Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (SLACIP Act) imposes a new obligation for responsible entities to create and maintain a critical infrastructure risk management program, and a new framework for enhanced cyber security obligations required for operators of Systems Of National Significance (Australia’s most important critical infrastructure assets – SoNS).
  • The reforms in the Act seek to make risk management, preparedness, prevention and resilience into business as usual for the owners and operators of critical infrastructure assets and to improve information exchange between industry and government to build a more comprehensive understanding of threats. These reforms are intended to give Australians reassurance that essential services are resilient and protected.