A 1998 American Presidential directive set up a national program to identify critical infrastructure components that needed elevated protection from possible terrorist attacks. Critical infrastructures can include any element that supports emergency services, telecommunications, energy, financial, water, food, transportation sectors, and anything involved in ensuring continuity of government.
Given the year of its launch, the executive order was naturally biased towards the protection of physical components, but the exponential surge in cyber threats has widened thinking to include items such as digital assets and Internet-connected infrastructures.
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