Is the Internet the place for Critical Infrastructure?

We hear much about building an on-line smart grid, about using the Internet to implement traffic control systems for driverless cars, about employing the infrastructure of the Internet for telephony, banking, healthcare repositories, and even elections. However, is the Internet, as constructed today, a place for critical infrastructure?

Dan Greer, part of the MIT group that created Kerberos, and serial entrepreneur, tells us that to pretend that the Internet is the place for critical infrastructure is, well, hypocrisy. [Communications of the ACM, June 2013]. He tells us that “connecting the insecure (and thus the unreliable) to the important and expecting the mélange to be reliable is utter foolishness.”

He tells us that “the preservation of manual means is a guarantee of a fallback that does not have a common-mode failure with the rest of the interconnected, mutually vulnerable Internet-world.” We have all been forewarned.

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