Keywords: critical infrastructures, critical infrastructure protection, comparative policy studies, interdisciplinary research, future challenges, socio-political issues, homeland security, critical information infrastructure protection, social sciences, protection measures
The socio-political dimensions of critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP)
At present, the topic of critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP) is mainly discussed in the domain of engineers, consultants, and IT security experts. All these communities address important aspects of the problem complex, but hardly ever deal with socio-political ones. This paper addresses the need for a greater role of the social sciences in the field, due to a range of important socio-political issues that have newly emerged. From a comparison of protection policies compiled in the recently published CIIP Handbook, it distills theoretical key issues and major challenges for the CIIP community with socio-political dimensions. In the process, it particularly targets the extensive problem of 'conceptual sloppiness' that the community is culpable of. This conceptual negligence often leads to analytical negligence – with negative consequences for approaches to the issue in general and for the design of protection measures in particular.