Definition: An information system's critical infrastructure is composed of hardware and software assets that are so important to the organization that the loss of one or more components could cause a loss of business continuity. For example, the proper functioning of a gateway or main router for a computer network is vital to the smooth and continuing operations of an organization. Disruption can cause a loss of communication with the outside world, money, proprietary information or security. The nation's vital sectors include seventeen (17) critical industry sectors.
An organization's vital infrastructure includes everything digital. It is so importance that the critical national infrastructure of the United States is consider a matter of national security.
Its Relevance: An information assurance plan is based upon protecting assets that are vital to the continuity of an organization's operations. The destruction, damage or loss of one essential part of valuable components can and will cause the loss of a system's confidentiality, integrity and availability.