Critical Infrastructure Protection

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Every nation has an obligation to protect essential government, financial, energy, transportation, and other critical infrastructure operations against terrorist activities and natural disasters. RAND addresses homeland security and critical infrastructure needs through objective research that assists national, state, and local agencies in preventing and mitigating terrorist activities, as well as in improving disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

  • Sign that says Fort Bragg, Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    How to Protect Army Installations from Emerging Threats

    Nov 10, 2020

    Emerging technologies such as drones, 5G communications, smart city systems, and the use of social media disinformation by adversaries all pose potential threats to U.S. Army bases. A new framework can help assess possible solutions and the resources required to defend against these threats.

  • Man writing programming code, photo by RossHelen/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Highlights the Shortcomings of America's Digital Infrastructure

    May 14, 2020

    Much like America's aging physical infrastructure, America's digital infrastructure needs updating. To fix these urgent problems, local, state, and federal governments could turn to best practices used in the private sector to develop more reliable software.

Explore Critical Infrastructure Protection

  • China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif exchange documents during the signing ceremony of a 25-year cooperation agreement, in Tehran, Iran March 27, 2021, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters

    Commentary

    China Does Not Have to Be America's Enemy in the Middle East

    China and Iran made a deal in which China promised to boost its investment in Iranian infrastructure in exchange for a steady supply of oil. This uptick in Chinese influence does not necessarily erode U.S. power in the region. The United States may even find overlapping interests with China since both have a stake in containing conflicts and instability.

    Apr 19, 2021

  • The SolarWinds logo is seen outside its headquarters in Austin, Texas, December 18, 2020, photo by Sergio Flores/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unconventional Supply Network Operations: A New Frontier in Global Competition

    The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.

    Apr 19, 2021

  • Employees assemble ventilator components behind a plastic curtain at a GE Healthcare manufacturing facility in Madison, Wisconsin, April 21, 2020, photo by Daniel Acker/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chains and National Security

    Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But one thing seems very clear: The United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical-capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains.

    Apr 12, 2021

  • A flooded road during Hurricane Sally in Gulf Shores, Alabama, September 16, 2020, photo by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Loose-Fit Infrastructure Can Better Account for Climate Change

    As climate change accelerates there is a growing disconnect between what our infrastructure systems can do and what we need them to do. Policymakers should view infrastructure investments as not simply hardware fixes and upgrades, but as efforts to close this gap.

    Apr 8, 2021

  • United States Postal Service workers load mail into delivery trucks outside a post office in Royal Oak, Michigan, August 22, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    The U.S. Post Office Is a Public Service, Not a Business

    As Congress and the White House debate how to assist the USPS, it will be important to understand the impacts of proposed cost-cutting measures not only on mail delivery of vital services, on smaller and rural communities, and on low-income communities where last-mile delivery is especially important for residents, but also on the broader public safety and security functions USPS performs.

    Apr 6, 2021

  • Workers on a bridge over the Grand River near Portland, Michigan, February 12, 2021, photo by Kristi Tanner/Detroit Free Press/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters

    Commentary

    Now Is (Finally) the Time to Future-Proof Our Infrastructure

    The world is barreling toward a more volatile climate with infrastructure designed for the past. With infrastructure widely expected to be prioritized in Congress soon, every infrastructure bill is also a climate bill. It is critical that we make our infrastructure climate-safe.

    Apr 1, 2021

  • The Sodium Guidestar at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Starfire Optical Range resides on a 6,240 foot hilltop at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, photo by U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Third Offset Fostered Real Intellectual Change Within DoD

    In 2014, U.S. defense leaders began promoting the Third Offset, a strategy centered on the potential of technology to offset Chinese and Russian advances. Its core principles were adopted by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. DoD started to look at security problems in a new light and develop closer ties with Silicon Valley.

    Mar 31, 2021

  • Stranded ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, after it ran aground, in the Suez Canal, March 28, 2021, photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Suez Grounding Was an Accident. The Next Blocked Chokepoint Might Not Be

    The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.

    Mar 30, 2021

  • Hawaiian Electric contractors deliver six 159-ton generators to the 50-megawatt power plant being constructed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, July 20, 2017, photo courtesy of Hawaiian Electric Company via U.S. Defense Department

    Commentary

    The Pentagon Could Help Improve Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid

    The resilience and robustness of the U.S. electric grid needs to be improved, especially given the likely increased occurrence and magnitude of natural disasters due to climate change. This is where government entities that operate large facilities in the United States, such as the Department of Defense, can potentially play a role.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Mapping the Risk of Serious and Organised Crime Infiltrating Legitimate Businesses: Final Report

    This report examines the infiltration of organized crime into legitimate European businesses, and its involvement in various illegal markets, including drugs and human trafficking.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Mapping the Risk of Serious and Organised Crime Infiltrating Legitimate Businesses: Technical Annexes

    This annex provides a description of the cross-cutting data-collection activities that were undertaken to address the research questions and the major outputs of the study.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • U.S. Soldiers with the 46th Military Police Company, Michigan National Guard, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., February 25, 2021, photo by 2nd Lt. Ashley Goodwin/U.S. Army National Guard

    Commentary

    The National Guard Can Do It, but That Doesn't Mean It's a Good Idea

    Should the National Guard provide an enduring quick reaction force for Washington, D.C., as apparently recommended in a recent report to Congress? Policymakers might ask themselves whether using the National Guard for this mission is actually the best solution.

    Mar 19, 2021

  • Woman interviewing for a job, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    Report

    Updating Personnel Vetting and Security Clearance Guidelines for Future Generations

    The United States could face challenges with recruiting and retaining younger generations into positions that require a security clearance. What trends and social changes might the federal government consider when updating personnel vetting guidelines?

    Mar 11, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Infrastructure Resilience to Navigate Increasingly Uncertain and Complex Conditions in the Anthropocene

    Resilience theory can help infrastructure managers navigate increasing complexity of the systems and environments in which they operate.

    Mar 4, 2021

  • Cyber Security Threats

    Multimedia

    Strategies for Minimizing Cybersecurity Risks

    RAND senior international/defense researcher Quentin Hodgson presents strategies for minimizing cybersecurity risks that can be implemented at individual, organizational, national, and international levels.

    Feb 24, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Systemic Cyber Risk and Aggregate Impacts

    High-profile attacks illustrate the potential for systemic cyber risk. We estimate the aggregate economic impact of firm-specific attacks finding potential large losses from downstream propagations.

    Feb 18, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Deceive the Enemy with Emerging Technologies

    By using technology to deceive and confuse adversaries, the U.S. Navy can gain a competitive edge.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • Brochure

    Spotlight 2020–2021

    Spotlight 2020-2021 features examples of our research that helped to improve people's lives during a turbulent year. It also highlights a selection of research initiatives on the horizon for 2021.

    Jan 26, 2021

  • Digital image of heads with padlocks, photo by maxkabakov/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Now Could Be the Time to Form Policy for Emerging Brain- and Body-Enhancement Technologies

    Policymakers might consider developing appropriate policy frameworks for emerging brain- and body-enhancement technologies to ensure that innovations harnessed for societal, economic, or military benefits do not create new vulnerabilities and that governments adequately defend and manage against potential attacks. The technology is quickly moving forward. Policy may need to play catch-up.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • Tech binary code dark red background, photo by WhataWin/AdobeStock

    Journal Article

    Cyber Threats to NATO from a Multi-Domain Perspective

    This paper situates cyber threats in the wider context of evolving multi-domain operations (MDO) theory and practice.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • Topic Synonyms:
  • CIP