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Use of Indicators for Assessing Resilience of Critical Infrastructures



Resilience of modern societies is largely determined by and dependent on resilience of their critical infrastructures such as energy grids, transportation systems, governmental bodies or water supply. This is clearly recognized by the European Union in its policies and research agenda, such as the DRS actions and projects (DRS: Disaster-Resilience: Safeguarding and securing society, including adapting to climate change). In this context, the issue of “measuring resilience” has an important place and it can be tackled by means of resilience indicators, what was in the focus of the DRS-14 line of call. [1] emphasizing the need for “… better understanding of critical infrastructure (and)… for defining measures to achieve a better resilience against threats in an integrated manner including natural and human threats/events (e.g. due to human errors or terrorist/criminal attacks)…”.


The need for guidelines and frameworks for resilience is particularly important in the areas of IT security and related critical infrastructures, e.g. “smart infrastructures”. While the information technology provides more and more possibilities to make critical infrastructures “smarter”, this may also create newrisks and  vulnerabilities[2], [3]. In other words, although making an infrastructure “smarter” in normal operations and use, it has to be checked if such a smart critical infrastructure will behave equally “smartly” and be “smartly resilient” also when exposed to extreme threats, such as extreme weather disasters or, e.g., terrorist attacks.


Assuming that the resilience of an infrastructure is defined as “the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions [4] the current research effort tries to support the quantitative assessment of the resilience by combining the “conventional” resilience indicators (e.g.those fromthe standards) with the indicators possibly derivable from other sources [5].


A.S. Jovanovic, N. Schmid, P. Klimek, A. Choudhary, Use of Indicators for Assessing Resilience of Critical Infrastructures, In: I. Linkov, M.V. Florin (Eds.), IRGC Resource Guide on Resilience (2016)

Peter Klimek, Faculty member at the Complexity Science Hub

Peter Klimek

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