Critical Infrastructure Sectors

Digital Services - At European level digital services, namely online marketplace, online search engine and cloud computing services are considered essential services since they facilitate cross-border movements of goods and services and taking into consideration their transnational nature, disruptions may affect many countries. In addition IT sector delivers relevant services also for Communication sector since it enables end-to-end communication service for customers. Preventing cyber Attacks became one of the main challenges: NIS directive foresees the obligation for digital services providers to report major incidents to a national computer security incident response team.


Energy - composed of three main subsectors - electricity, oil, gas - geographically spread and connected by networks which should guarantee the necessary energy production, storage and distribution. The prioritization by the Directive 2008/114/EC  is due not only to its strategical importance and interdependencies with other critical infrastructures  physical, cyber, geographic, logical - but also to the complexity of gathering services with different characteristics and exposure to a diverse risk typology. Among the risks the sector is exposed to are natural hazards, terrorist attacks and human failure and it is essential to develop an excellent capacity of resilience to face these threats.


Finance - Banking system and Financial market infrastructures are not explicitly mentioned in the list of European Critical Infrastructure but a high protection degree is provided since they are listed among the essential services contained in the 2016/1148/EC Directive which fosters cooperation among Member States. Finance sector is vital for the global economy considering its strategic role in the delivery of specific services such as deposit, payment system, credit and investment. Identifying financial services key processes it could represent an efficient manner to protect that infrastructure from malicious attack, also considering its close tie with the cyber space.

Transport - EU framework concerning critical infrastructure protection regulates the protection of the Transport sector identified in the 114/2008 EC Directive as key sector including road, rail, air, inland waterways transport and ocean and short-sea shipping and ports. Transport system worldwide is considered vital for a country's economic sector due to the fact that it facilitates the movement of people and of a large type of commodities necessary for a society's well-being. In this context it is essential to promptly detect potential risks, threats, human failures, malicious attacks in order to prevent as much as possible negative events or, at most to minimize the impact in case of disruption.

Healthcare - It is a large and highly distributed sector across a country's territory characterized a public-private governance providing goods and services necessary to maintain local, national and globally health security. Healthcare sector can potentially be exposed to several risks such as natural disaster, malicious human attacks including terrorist attack and cyber attack taking into consideration the increasing dependence of the sector upon IT. In particular with regards to eHealth, namely the use of electronic means to acquire, transfer or store healthcare related information and provide services used by health professionals and consumers (ENISA, 2015) this one has a growing impact on healthcare delivery services around the world.

Water - Enhancing security and resilience of country's drinking water and wastewater infrastructures is essential since, nowadays, studies reveal relevant demographic growth (FAO, 2012) and estimate that in urban areas will live about 60 per cent of world's population rate (UN, 2014). For instance, the EU Directive 2016/1148/EC recognizes drinking water supply and distribution as essential services. Water infrastructure may be damaged by natural disaster or by malicious attacks causing explosion or aiming at the introduction of chemical and biological agents into the water distribution pipelines.

Current Challenges



Emergency Management System




Public Administration