Vital Infrastructure, Technology, and Logistics (VITAL)

Protecting Our Critical Infrastructures

US critical infrastructures encompass highly visible sectors like transportation, water, and agriculture as well as less conspicuous sectors like energy, finance, and information technology (IT). If any of these infrastructures were attacked, whether by hostile nation-states or by non-state actors, it would have major negative impacts on our national security and the economic well-being of our country. Even less nefarious disruptions to the supply chain, caused by inclement weather for example, are increasingly worrisome as the global economy becomes more intertwined and interdependent.

Due to the number, scale, and complexity of these sectors, no one entity can tackle the issue of critical infrastructure vulnerability alone. Both government and industry have a shared interest in the continued stability of domestic infrastructures and their global supply chains and are thus natural allies in the efforts to secure these systems. Through improved communication and strategic planning, industry and government entities can combine and coordinate efforts in comprehensively securing critical infrastructures.

The DCIP defines the following 16 sectors as critical based on their influence on the nation’s economic health and security: chemicals, commercial facilities, communications, manufacturing, dams, defense, emergency services, energy, finance, food and agriculture, government facilities, healthcare, information technology (IT), nuclear facilities, transportation, and water. The number of sectors considered vital to the US is simply too great to be managed by one office of the federal government, or even by the federal government alone. Taken together, the 16 critical sectors identified by the DoD account for thousands of companies, millions of jobs, and billions of dollars of revenue changing hands across the country. The only effective way to provide comprehensive critical infrastructure protection is through a coordinated effort, both among government agencies and between government and industry. The VITAL Center aims to bridge the gap between government and industry security efforts by connecting diverse stakeholders from both worlds, creating a community of interest to create more comprehensive mechanisms of action for critical infrastructure protection.



 Hardware Security Symposium


Thursday, August 4 , 2016, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Isaac Cohen, United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)

Isaac Cohen, Ph.D., is Executive Director, Research Operations at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) where he provides oversight and leadership for UTRC's operational functions, and the international offices in Ireland and China. This includes development of a unique portfolio of research projects in collaboration with European and Asian industry, government and academic partners. In addition he oversees the research activities in Cyber Physical Security at UTRC.

Cohen joined UTRC in June 2010 to lead the Systems Department and UTRC Ireland. Prior to UTRC he was at Honeywell Labs in Minneapolis, where he led a research group focusing on video surveillance, biometrics and cyber security. He was also an active participant in the academic field of computer vision. During that time, he held academic positions at the University of Southern California and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA), Rocquencourt, France. Cohen is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.