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What is critical infrastructure?

The Nation's critical infrastructure provides the essential services that underpin American society. Ensuring delivery of essential services and functions is important to sustaining the American way of life.


There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or a combination of any of these. They include the chemical; commercial facilities; communications; critical manufacturing; dams; defense industrial base; emergency services; energy; financial services; food and agriculture; government facilities; healthcare and public health; information technology; nuclear reactors, materials, and waste; transportation systems; and water and wastewater systems sectors.


America’s national security and economic prosperity are increasingly dependent upon critical infrastructure that is at risk from a variety of hazards and threats, both natural and man-made, such as aging or failing infrastructure, extreme weather, cyberattacks, or evolving terrorism threats, that impact our economy and communities.


Critical infrastructure security and resilience requires a clear understanding of the risks we face and a whole‐of‐community effort that involves partnership between public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Critical Infrastructure Protection
“Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program
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