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Critical Infrastructure Design and Adaptive Resilient Systems

The Critical Infrastructure Design and Adaptive Resilient Systems (CIDARS) project develops the technical basis and analytical tools needed to support cross-sector risk assessment and identifies standards of practice to support the expanded use of risk methodologies for cyber and physical systems and resource planning. These efforts align with the goals of the National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR) Research and Development (R&D) Plan and the National CISR R&D Implementation Roadmap (PDF, 43 pages, 915.53 KB).


Critical infrastructure systems support the Nation’s economy, society, and national security. Interdependent critical infrastructures (ICIs) are increasingly global, complex, and susceptible to disruptions. DHS needs enhanced awareness of potential disruptions to ICIs and the ability to design in flexibility and resilience to mitigate the effects of such disruptions. Current risk assessment and management approaches often do not incorporate all of the relevant linkages, such as cross-sector interdependencies and cybersecurity risk factors. As a result, formulating risk-informed, integrated design solutions and management strategies to enable proactive resilience remains a significant challenge.


The CIDARS project currently focuses on five research and development priorities. Each priority corresponds to an activity identified in the National CISR R&D Implementation Roadmap. These priorities reflect the needs of sector partners and members of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments (SLTTGs), many of whom participated in the development of the National CISR R&D Plan. The five focal areas are: 

  • identifying and characterizing functional interactions among sectors with a focus on key physical, social and behavioral dependencies;
  • linking existing models to understand the effects of interdependencies across sectors on service, security and resilience;
  • creating predictive models of physical consequences based on both designed and emergent interdependencies;
  • supporting collection, classification, validation and integration of existing and synthetic data related to infrastructure interdependencies; and
  • developing guidance in collaboration with other federal partners on the collection, generation, validation and publication of existing and synthetic data on critical infrastructure design and operation for more effective and efficient resource allocation.

The CIDARS project will succeed if it advances foundational understanding and supports innovation within the CISR space at the boundaries of traditional sector definitions through active investment and partner engagement.



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Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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