Critical infrastructure sectors (CIS) are assets and systems needed by the government to ensure the proper functioning of the economy and society. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defined 16 critical sectors, among which healthcare, food, commercial facilities, nuclear, energy, and government facilities are the most important ones (CISA, 2020). In general, the failure or destruction of every facility from this list may have an adverse impact on public health, security, and the US economy. Global and regional conflicts always have the potential to endanger some critical sectors by terroristic attacks, means of war, and sabotage.
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International cooperation plays an essential role in fostering the efficiency of national security measures. In order to deal with cybercrimes involving CIS, states developed such treaties as Budapest Convention on Cybercrime written by the Council of Europe, which aims at improving law enforcement collaboration on cybercrimes to avoid stealing of information, money, and disruption of operations (Fidler, 2016). The convention encourages the prohibition of actions required to undertake modern cyber attacks by national law that should be harmonized. Countries very often use mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs) and extradition agreements to facilitate information exchange in criminal issues. The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings is an example of an international agreement that outlaws terrorist actions and improves mutual judicial and police cooperation. International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism enhances collaboration in preventing and prosecuting threats of nuclear terrorism (Fidler, 2016). International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation are among the 19 universal anti-terrorism instruments that prevent terrorist attacks worldwide.
Moreover, the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) includes tools that allow international cooperation with partners to protect such vital sectors as information technology, communications, and energy. The establishment of Critical Five in 2012 that consists of the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, helps to improve critical infrastructure security in the region and enhances the cross-border approach. The US-Canada cooperation is also crucial as it develops resilience and CIS security of both countries.
CISA (2020). Identifying critical infrastructure during Covid-19. Web.
Fidler, D. P. (2016). Cyberspace, terrorism and international law. Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 21(3), 475-493.