Critical National Infrastructure

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This refers to the definition of Critical Infrastructures and Critical Infrastructure Sectors by nations. Alternatevely, the term National Critical Infrastructure is used.




National Definitions


Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) are those assets (real and virtual), systems and functions that are vital to the nations that their incapacity or destruction would have a devastating impact on: (1) National economic strength, (2) National image, (3) National defense and security, (4) Government capability to functions, and (5) Public health and safety. [1]


Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) is defined as those assets (real and virtual), systems and functions that are vital to the nations that their incapacity or destruction would have a devastating impact on: (1) National economic strength; Confidence that the nation's key growth area can successfully compete in global market while maintaining favourable standards of living; (2) National image; Projection of national image towards enhancing stature and sphere of influence. (3) National defence and security; guarantee sovereignty and independence whilst maintaining internal security. (4) Government capability to functions; maintain order to perform and deliver minimum essential public services. (5) Public health and safety; delivering and managing optimal health care to the citizen. [2]

New Zealand

Critical infrastructure/critical national infrastructure: Physical and digital assets, services, and supply chains, the disruption (loss, compromise) of which would severely impact the maintenance of national security, public safety, fundamental rights, and well-being of all New Zealanders. [3]

Critical national infrastructure is a term used by governments to describe assets that are essential for the functioning of a society and economy (e.g. electricity generation, gas production, telecommunications, water supply etc.). [4]


Critical national infrastructure refers to infrastructure or part of the economy whose failure or breakdown would have enormous consequences on national security or the economic and/or social welfare of a nation. [5]

United Kingdom (UK)

Critical National Infrastructure is a sub-set of critical infrastructure, and describes those elements of critical infrastructure which have been identified by Government as being of strategic national importance to essential service delivery; the loss or compromise of these assets would have a severe, widespread effect, impacting on a national scale. [6] [7]

Critical National Infrastructure is those facilities, systems, sites and networks necessary for the functioning of the country and the delivery of the essential services upon which daily life in the UK depends. [8]

Critical Infrastructure (CI): Assets that the Government has identified within the nine National Infrastructure sectors (energy, food, water, government, transportation, communication, emergency services, health care and finance) as being of strategic importance to essential service delivery. The loss or compromise of these assets would lead to severe economic and / or social consequences and / or to loss of life across significant parts of the UK. [9]

Regional Definitions

Isle of Man
Critical National Infrastructure: processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets and services essential to the nation’s health, safety, security or economic well-being and the effective functioning of government. [10]
Critical infrastructure can be stand-alone or interconnected and interdependent within and across national borders. Disruptions of critical infrastructure could result in catastrophic loss of life, adverse economic effects and significant harm to public confidence.

See also


  1. Republic of Ghana - National Cyber Security Policy & Strategy (2014)
  2. Malaysia (2009)
  3. New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy (2019)
  4. New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy (2011)
  5. Melani Glossary (n.d.)
  6. Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles
  7. Glossary - Revision to Emergency Preparedness, Cabinet Office (2012)
  8. (CPNI)
  9. Cabinet Office, Glossary - Revision to Emergency Preparedness 2011
  10. Isle of Man National Cyber Security Strategy (2018-2022)