Resilience-Based Approaches to Critical Infrastructure Safeguarding


Azores, Portugal

Event Dates

Sunday, 26 June 2016 to Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NATO Workshop
Ponta Delgada, Azores, PORTUGAL

As society relies more upon integrated cyber-physical systems, the importance of the security of these systems increases.  As new safeguards are developed and implemented, adversaries continue to develop novel ways to breach and disrupt critical infrastructure.  While significant advances in the field of risk assessment have been achieved, risk-based solutions tend to focus on assessing and hardening individual component of complex systems under specific threat scenarios.  Realization of the inability to predict threats resulted in significant interest in resilience-based management. The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defines resilience as “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.” This definition calls for a system view of resilience and provides the basis for several interagency efforts in the US and EU on developing metrics for resilience management and for integrating temporal capacity of a system to absorb and recover from heterogeneous adverse events, and then to adapt; resilience provides an entity with the ability to repair, replace, patch, or otherwise reconstitute lost capability or performance in physical, cyber, social and cognitive domains.  Resilience thus uses strategies of adaptation and mitigation to augment traditional risk management.

The workshop will focus on ways in which military commanders and civilian decision makers could utilize resilience management in operations. Military and Civilian applications of resilience concepts are concerned with similar threats and need to be harmonized.  Ongoing attacks require immediate response and thus real time decision making; resilience, as a property of a system, must transition from concepts and definitions to an operational paradigm for system management, especially under emergent and future threats. Methods and tools that are able to reconcile conflicting information, as well as the complex context of the decision making environment will be discussed.

Workshop participants will be organized into four working groups, which address risk and resilience based management in (1) infrastructure, (2) cyber, and (3) social domains and (4) methodology and tools for cross-domain integration. “State of the Science and Practice” reviews by these working groups along with other materials discussed during the meeting will provide a foundation for a book that will be published by Springer. This workshop will provide military commanders and government officials as well as industry with a better understanding of the trade-offs associated with risk and resilience-based management, and will provide them with a broad suite of decision tools to manage emerging risks.

For additional information, contact Dr. Igor Linkov, US Army Engineer R&D Center at or 617-233-9869.