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A Risk Assessment of National Critical Functions During COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities
When it became clear that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had spread to the United States in the first quarter of 2020, concerns soon arose that the virus would present a severe, ongoing, and evolving threat to public health. However, the viruss potential impacts on other parts of the countrys critical infrastructure (CI) - including the manufacturing, banking, law enforcement, oil and gas production, education, and transportation sectors - was less clear. As many regions of the United States began to shut down in March 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), sought a means to actively monitor ongoing risk from COVID-19 to 55 National Critical Functions (NCFs). NCFs represent a new way of thinking about CI risk - one that shifts the focus from physical infrastructure to the functions supported by CI assets and organizations, such as "transmit electricity," "educate and train," or "manage hazardous wastes." CISA has defined NCFs as the "functions of government and the private sector that are so vital to the United States that their disruption, corruption, or dysfunction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, [or] national public health or safety."
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