Survivability Issues and Challenges

Survivability Issues and Challenges

J. B.D. Joshi (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and S. M. Chandran (Purdue University, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch229
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Abstract

An electronic government (e-government) is essentially an amalgam of interconnected heterogeneous information systems belonging to both government agencies and public and private sectors with a goal of modernizing the government’s highly fragmented service-centric information infrastructure by improving information flow and the decision-making process (Joshi, Aref, Ghafoor, & Spafford, 2001a). The e-government environment also embeds the nation’s critical infrastructures, that are required for providing the nation’s basic services to the citizens (PDD, 1998), such as energy, telecommunications, banking and finance, and transportation facilities. The intricate connectivity of systems and their increasing dependence on IT dramatically magnifies the consequences of damages resulting from even simple system faults/accidents and intrusions, as well as natural events (fire, earthquakes, etc.), also collectively called disruptions (Ellison et al., 1997). A key challenge for such an infrastructure is to ensure continuous service availability to prevent financial losses, loss of prestige, endangerment of citizens’ lives, and disturbances in national socio-psychological structures adversely effecting governance and democracy (Ellison et al., 1997; Gibbs, 1994; Moore, Ellison, & Linger, 2001). While it is essential that the e-Government infrastructure is resilient to disruptions, an even bigger concern is the protection of critical infrastructure components within the e-government. In essence, the e-government infrastructure should have the capability to provide services in a timely manner, irrespective of disruptions, a capability known as survivability.

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