Alexandru PETRESCU, CEO Romanian Post
The issue of critical infrastructure has emerged in recent years as a very important element in conceiving the framework of understanding and preventing of new threats to national and international security. If we were to locate on a timeline the moment of becoming aware of the tremendous impact of this sector of security, this would be sometime after de Cold War, when in fact appeared the European Directive in this sense, when security was no longer grasped and analyzed almost exclusively in military terms but rather was promoted as more plausible on grounds connected directly to an immediate and of perspective reality, a multidimensional analysis of security.
The critical infrastructures are analyzed primarily according to national security, taking into account the impact these may have on the well-functioning of the national economy and on the normal development of the social activities at the moment when management is flawed and can generate threats and vulnerabilities that can degenerate into uncontrollable risks which imply major responsibility and caution on behalf of the corporate management and at a higher level.
The security concept is, however, very complex, a variety of academic disciplines, being submitted to debate without achieving a consensus to develop an universally accepted definition. In general, protection from risks and threats, the sense of trust and peace generated by the absence of any type of danger, are the key elements that define security.
Reporting only to the security, the impossibility of rendering a unique definition is somewhat understandable, given that the study of aspects specific to this field are related to those elements characteristic of a nation/country which dependent on the survival of that particular state and its development. It is, after all, a matter of theorizing the security in consonance with the government responsible for developing and implementing policies aimed at ensuring the physical protection of the nation/country, promoting economic and political development and defending the values and interests of that nation/country, with final implications for the welfare of the nation.
Romania is the second country with the largest population in Central and Eastern Europe after Poland, with a population registered in 2015, of 22.279 million, which is why it is required greater focus on the protection of critical national infrastructure, because failure to prevent and flawed management of the vulnerabilities and threats can cause unforeseen risks with implications on the economy and population.
The identification of critical infrastructure involves the traditional approach on the protection of critical infrastructure by identifying important specific physical means and drawing up plans for their protection. Recent data and information demonstrate the need to equally focus on large general systems and networks that may cause critical infrastructure with important implications upon the associated interdependencies. Initially, countries sought to draw up a general list of the critical infrastructure elements. Most countries admit the fact that ensuring the survival of large general systems and the interdependencies are equally important for the survival of the individual elements of the critical infrastructures.
Designation of critical infrastructure is fundamental to perform effective protection of these. Critical infrastructure elements may be at risk from certain varieties of hazards or processes that manifest stochastically, involving the need to highlight and to catalog them. At the level of the European Union should be drawn up a map matrix based on the experience of other countries that have initiated this activity. Those countries that have not yet started this process can use this matrix to designate their own critical infrastructure, tailored to meet their requirements.
National critical infrastructure for postal services is represented by large systems, interconnected at national and Euro-Atlantic level, susceptible to multiple vulnerabilities and threats that may create unforeseen risks.
The vulnerability is directly proportional to the role those infrastructures play. In this context, as much as the critical infrastructure may be protected, it will always have a high degree of vulnerability, because normally, are the first targeted when aiming to destabilize or even to destroy a system or a process. From the facts mentioned derives the need for continuity and consolidate all measures aimed at better knowing the vulnerabilities, risks and possible threats, as well as an ongoing search for the most appropriate ways to prevent, diminish or antagonize them.
Given the European Commission’s recommendations to identify potential national critical infrastructures, being suggested three pillars of analysis, C.N. Romanian Post S.A. benefited from a significant support given by them. Length or surface – the damage of a critical infrastructure is assessed by the affected geographic region.
The severity class – the impact or the degradation may be void, minimal, moderate or high on the served population, economy, and environment, degradation of the quality of postal services, dependence on the natural or artificial disturbing factors. The effect over time – this
criterion indicates time / period in which degradation of the infrastructure can have a major incidence or a serious effect on the activities related to postal services. To increase efficiency and effectiveness of the postal activities maintaining under a careful monitoring the costs related to the income, there were decided analyzes and studies of all activities and results of the implemented measures taking into account the implications arising from management failure at the level of critical infrastructure, the company’s top management is making strong efforts in obtaining good results reflected by the increased profit registered in the past two years, considering the situation from which we initially started.
Addressing critical infrastructure aspect has become a topical issue because of the aggravating threats of a different nature, empowering some destabilizing situations in relation to economic and social, national, regional and international values. Ensuring the security of critical infrastructures is not just a theory, it is a reality that involves efforts, institutions and regulation etc. The protection of critical infrastructure has become an imperative necessity for the modern world, due to the fact that it is estimated to be the „backbone of countries, regions and continents”.
- Dufort, Cristophe Roux „La gestion du crise”, De Boeck Universite, 2000.
- Anca Dinicu – „The Critical Infrastructure, a matter of security”.
- Alexandru Petrescu – „The link between the protection of critical infrastructures and the decisionmaking by C.N.P.R. S.A top management”.