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MIT communication component

Interdependencies between infrastructures exist and can be more complex than they appear at the first glance. They can be:

  • Direct: an infrastructure uses one or more services provided by another one; for example traffic lights switch off if there is an electrical power blackout.
  • Indirect: failures or denial of service in a first infrastructure generates a lack of services in second one that, as a consequence, generate lack of services in a third one; for example an energy black-out on a railway transport system can cause crises in an Health Care infrastructure because the personnel of the Hospitals cannot arrive on time at their working place.

Today, stakeholders have tools available to manage their Large Complex Critical Infrastructures (LCCI), including alarm filtering and management. But knowledge of the status of other connected LCCIs is not available to allow for efficient prevention and recovery planning.

A severe problem in managing incidents caused by interdependencies failure is therefore the lack of information. The Swiss-Italy blackout on September 2003 has clearly demonstrated these deficiencies. As a consequence awareness of involved infrastructures’ status and availability of services is the basic requirement to be accomplished; for such reason the Middleware Communication Layer has been introduced.

Middleware Improved Technology (MIT)

IRRIIS will create a common “message layer“, where all the infrastructures can dispatch the information they can / want to share. The available information can then be used by the single LCCI to elaborate an intelligent recovery / management / negotiation ad hoc plan.

In addition a set of add-on components will be introduced to enhance the capabilities of already existing tools in order to improve resilience and mitigate cascading effects.

Mr. Mario Schembri, AIS, Malta