National Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure
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CNPIC - What is the critical infrastructure protection system and who can be part of it?

Analyzing the CIP Project and the legislation that enforces it must not be carried out from the obsolete position of the imposing/sanctioning State in front of an obeying company. The traditional entrepreneurial cost-benefit-based approach is not acceptable, either. The spirit of the CIP Law goes further beyond: it wants to implant in the mid-term a security culture in which both the private sector and the Public Administrations work with homogeneous and clearly defined CIP-related parameters, in order to obtain a coordination of efforts and synergies that nowadays are incipient.

Trying to protect society against possible unforeseeable and unimaginable threats is a difficult task. In order to fulfill it, cooperation, information sharing, potential risk assessment and a rational prioritization of human, material and economic resources, are needed. The challenge we are facing consists in protecting society from potentially unlimited risks and threats, but with limited human, material and economic resources, which is feasible only if efforts are coordinated among all involved agents. These are precisely the base and the impelling force that the CIP Law pretends to obtain.

The National CIP System engulfs those institutions, organisms and companies from both the public and the public sectors responsible for the correct functioning of services that are essential to the security of the citizens. Within the CIP System, the role played by critical owners/operators, that is, those who own/operate at least one critical infrastructure, is to be highlighted. The national System must define the strategies and initiatives necessary to direct and coordinate the actions by the different responsible organisms. In order to do so, the System will enhance the cooperation and involvement by owners/operators of such infrastructures, with a view to optimizing their level of protection and to contribute to protect the population, too.

It is obvious that the System must rely on the establishment of tight cooperation links among the owners/operators of our infrastructures and the organisms in charge of their protection and of the security of the citizens. Only on this base of mutual trust will we be able to build an adequate security structure.

Taking part in the CIP System as agent implies a series of responsibilities, obligations and capabilities, which result basically in the constitution of sectoral working groups (led by an interdepartmental working group under the presidency of the CIP Commission), in access to- and the exchange of information that is interesting to all parts (with confidentiality clauses and based on the need-to-know principle) and the taking part in the planning activity designed and launched by the CIP Law and the CIP Royal Decree.