Pursuant to Article 3 (2) of the current Act of 26 April 2007 on crisis management, critical infrastructure – shall be understood as systems and mutually bound functional objects contained therein, including constructions, facilities, installations and services of key importance for the security of the state and its citizens, as well as serving to ensure efficient functioning of public administration authorities, institutions and enterprises.
Critical infrastructure includes:
- Energy, fuel and energy supply systems,
- Communication systems,
- Tele-information network systems,
- Financial systems,
- Food supply systems,
- Water supply systems,
- Health protection systems,
- Transportation systems,
- Rescue systems,
- Systems ensuring the continuity of public administration activities,
- Systems of production, storing and use of chemical and radioactive substances, including pipelines for hazardous substances.
In short, critical infrastructure shall be understood as both physical and cybernetic systems (including objects, facilities or installations) necessary for minimal operation of the economy and the state.
Critical infrastructure plays a key role in the functioning of the state and the lives of its citizens. Critical infrastructure can be destroyed or damaged and its functioning may be disrupted both as a result of events caused by natural forces or as a consequence of human activities. Therefore, the lives as well as the property of the citizens can be endangered. At the same time, such events have a negative impact on the economic development of the state. Hence, the protection of critical infrastructure is one of the priorities Poland has to face.
The essence of the tasks related to critical infrastructure comes down not only to ensuring its protection against threats, but also to ensuring that the potential damage or disruption of its functioning is short-lasting, easy to remove and not causing additional losses for the citizens and the economy.
Protection of critical infrastructure – it shall be understood as all steps aimed at ensuring the functionality, continuity and integrity of critical infrastructures in order to prevent threats, risks or vulnerabilities and limitations as well as neutralizing their effects. It will also allow a quick reconstruction of the infrastructure in case of failures, attacks and other events disrupting its appropriate functioning.