Next Generation Information-Based Infrastructures: New Dependencies and Threats

Next Generation Information-Based Infrastructures: New Dependencies and Threats

Eric Luiijf (TNO, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2964-6.ch015
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Abstract

Advancements of information and communication technologies (ICT) cause infrastructure owners to augment current infrastructures with such ICT. The creation of more efficient and effective end-user services provides economical benefits and increases customer satisfaction. Concurrently, ICT advancements allow governmental and industrial sectors to develop complete new infrastructures and infrastructure services, the so called Next Generation Infrastructures (NGI). NGI will offer new services to society, end-users and the supply-chain of organisations and linked, dependent infrastructural services. For over fifty years, the introduction of new ICT-based services and infrastructures has been tightly coupled with failures in ICT-security. This chapter on NGI discusses the root causes of these security failures. Based on historical experiences, this chapter predicts threats and cyber security failures alike for the envisioned NGI such as smart (energy) grids, smart road transport infrastructure, smart cities, and e-health. This prediction will become reality unless fundamental changes in the approach to security of ICT-based and ICT-controlled infrastructures are taken.
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Background

Cyber Attacks

Before we discuss NGI, it is worthwhile to look back into the relative young history of information and communication technologies (ICT). Since the 1950s, one can recognise a number of ICT-adoption waves which followed the (Bohlen, 1957) technology adoption lifecycle model. This model recognises an innovation phase, followed by early adopters of new technology. When the new technology breaks through, an early majority phase is recognised, followed by the mainstream phase of technology adoption. Often, some setbacks mark the step between the early adoption and early majority phases. According to (Venkatesh & Bala, Technology Acceptance Model 3 and a Research Agenda on Interventions, 2008) these setbacks in acceptance of new ICT comprise either a lack in the perceived ease of use of the new technology, or a lack of perceived usefulness to individuals and organisations. TAM 3 is one of the models which relates to the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) by (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). Interestingly, neither TAM 3, nor UTAUT take the security posture of ICT and the user perception of security as a major factor for the acceptance of ICT into account. However, the lack of real and perceived security is one of the setbacks for users and organisations to move to the majority adoption phase of new ICT.

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