National Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure
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CNPIC - What is a critical infrastructure?

The primary concept, the key aspect from which one has to start, is not the infrastructure in itself, but the function it fulfills or the service it supplies. These functions deserve, as far as we are concerned, to be mentioned as being essential. From there on, by means of studying the installations, networks and working processes these functions develop, we will be able to determine whether any or several of the infrastructures on which the functions rely, deserve been given special consideration.

In any case, the CIP Law gives an official definition of what is to be considered as critical infrastructure in Spain:

¨The strategic infrastructures (that is, those that supply essential services) the functioning of which is necessary and does not allow alternative solutions, reason why their disruption or destruction would have serious impact on essential services¨.

Infrastructures have never been so important and influential for the normal functioning of services essential to the population and of main production systems as they are nowadays. There is no human activity in our societies that is not linked to or depends from one or more of the strategic sector mentioned in Spanish legislation in one way or another:

  • Administration

  • Chemical Industry

  • Energy

  • Financial and Tax System

  • Food Supply Chain

  • Health

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

  • Nuclear Industry

  • Research Laboratories

  • Space

  • Transport

  • Water