The human role in tools for improving robustness and resilience of critical infrastructures

Amantini, Aladino; Choras, Michal; D'Antonio, Salvatore; Egozcue, Elyoenai; Germanus, Daniel; Hutter, Reinhard
June 2012
Cognition, Technology & Work;Jun2012, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p143
Academic Journal
This paper presents a project dedicated to the development of means for improving the resilience of Critical Infrastructures (CIs) with respect to cyber attacks. The ability to sustain and protect the flow of information and data and the possibility to early detect, isolate and eliminate cyber hazards have become issues of paramount importance when developing the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems of such a CI. The majority of tools dedicated to these goals are based on fully automatic autonomous self-reconfigurable systems that operate within the network, or online. However, the possibility to enable also human intervention for the further reduction in the vulnerability of CIs is equally possible. In this case, the intervention is considered offline and requires the active co-operation between a decision aid tool and a human operator. This paper presents a project aimed at improving robustness and resilience of CIs and discusses in particular the human interfaces associated with the offline tools. In essence, it is found that while the guidelines of the usability principle must be preserved, special account must be given to the type of issues involved and high professionalism of their users. This implies that certain basic criteria of the usability principle may be less relevant and their limitations may not be respected without loosing effectiveness and strength of the tools.


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