Critical Infrastructure Definition

The following are the definitions of critical infrastructure according to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure.

Information and Communications

Computing and telecommunications equipment, software, processes, and people that support the processing, storage, and transmission of data and information; the processes and people that convert data into information and information into knowledge; and the data and information themselves.

Electrical Power Systems

The generation stations, transmission and distribution networks that create and supply electricity to end-users so that end-users achieve and maintain nominal functionality, including the transportation and storage of fuel essential to that system.

Gas and Oil Production, Storage and Transportation

The production and holding facilities for natural gas, crude and refined petroleum, and petroleum-derived fuels, the refining and processing facilities for these fuels and the pipelines, ships, trucks, and rail systems that transport these commodities from their source to systems that are dependent upon gas and oil in one of their useful forms.

Banking and Finance

The retail and commercial organizations, investment institutions, exchange boards, trading houses, and reserve systems, and associated operational organizations, government operations, and support entities, that are involved in all manner of monetary transactions, including its storage for saving purposes, its investment for income purposes, its exchange for payment purposes, and its disbursement in the form of loans and other financial instruments.


The nation's physical distribution system critical to supporting the national security and economic well-being of this nation, including the national airspace system, airlines and aircraft, and airports; roads and highways, trucking and personal vehicles; ports and waterways and the vessels operating thereon; mass transit, both rail and bus; pipelines, including natural gas, petroleum, and other hazardous materials; freight and long haul passenger rail; and delivery services.

Water Supply Systems

The sources of water, reservoirs and holding facilities, aqueducts and other transport systems, the filtration, cleaning and treatment systems, the pipelines, the cooling systems and other delivery mechanisms that provide for domestic and industrial applications, including systems for dealing with water runoff, waste water, and firefighting.

Emergency Services

The medical, police, fire, and rescue systems and personnel that are called upon when an individual or community is responding to emergencies. These services are typically provided at the local level (county or metropolitan area). In addition, state and Federal response plans define emergency support functions to assist in response and recovery.

Government Services

Sufficient capabilities at the Federal, state and local levels of government are required to meet the needs for essential services to the public.