CISA has developed an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory list in collaboration with other federal agencies, State and local governments, and the private sector. It aims to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
Critical infrastructure viability
CISA also noted that it is advisory in nature, thus it shouldn’t be considered as a federal directive or standard. The advisory list targets workers who are part of a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continue critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others.
Industries included in the list are medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.
Communications and information technology
CISA stated the importance of the functioning critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 emergencies for both public health and safety. The advisory list is intended to identify the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions. The advisory list about the communications and the information technology includes:
- Maintenance of communications infrastructure -including privately owned and maintained communication systems- supported by technicians, operators, call centers, wireline, and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, Internet Exchange Points, Points of Presence, Network Access Points, backhaul and front haul facilities, and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment.
- Government and private sector employees (including government contractors) with work related to undersea cable infrastructure and support facilities, including cable landing sites, beach manhole vaults and covers, submarine cable depots and submarine cable ship facilities.
- Government and private sector employees (including government contractors) supporting Department of Defense internet and communications facilities.
- Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front-line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering, and reporting, and publishing news.
- Network Operations staff, engineers and/or technicians to include IT managers and staff, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, software and hardware engineers, and database administrators that manage the network or operate facilities.
- Engineers, technicians and associated personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and restoration, including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables, buried conduit, small cells, other wireless facilities, and other communications sector-related infrastructure. This includes the construction of new facilities and deployment of new technology as these are required to address congestion or customer usage due to the unprecedented use of remote services.
- Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed.
- Central office personnel to maintain and operate the central office, data centers, and other network office facilities, critical support personnel assisting front line employees.
- Customer service and support staff, including managed and professional services as well as remote providers of support to transitioning employees to set up and maintain home offices, who interface with customers to manage or support service environments and security issues, including payroll, billing, fraud, logistics, and troubleshooting.
- Workers providing electronic security, fire, monitoring and life safety services, and to ensure physical security, cleanliness, and safety of facilities and personnel, including temporary licensing waivers for security personnel to work in other States of Municipalities.
- Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration.
- Retail customer service personnel at critical service center locations for onboarding customers, distributing and repairing equipment and addressing customer issues in order to support individuals’ remote emergency communications needs, supply chain and logistics personnel to ensure goods and products are on-boarded to provision these front-line employees.
- External Affairs personnel to assist in coordinating with local, state and federal officials to address communications needs supporting COVID-19 response, public safety, and national security.
- Workers who support command centers, including, but not limited to Network Operations Command Centers, Broadcast Operations Control Centers, and Security Operations Command Centers.
- Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers and purchasers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers, and database administrators, for all industries (including financial services).
- Workers who support client service centers, field engineers, and other technicians and workers supporting critical infrastructure, as well as manufacturers and supply chain vendors that provide hardware and software, support services, research and development, and information technology equipment (to include microelectronics and semiconductors), and HVAC and electrical equipment for critical infrastructure, and test labs and certification agencies that qualify such equipment(to include microelectronics, optoelectronics, and semiconductors) for critical infrastructure, including data centers.
- Workers needed to preempt and respond to cyber incidents involving critical infrastructure, including medical facilities, SLTT governments, and federal facilities, energy and utilities, and banks and financial institutions, securities/other exchanges, other entities that support the functioning of capital markets, public works, critical manufacturing, food & agricultural production, transportation, and other critical infrastructure categories and personnel, in addition to all cyber defense workers (who can’t perform their duties remotely).
- Suppliers, designers, transporters and other workers supporting the manufacture, distribution, and provision and construction of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services (including cloud computing services and telework capabilities), business infrastructure, financial transactions/services, web-based services, and critical manufacturing.
- Workers supporting communications systems and information technology- and work from home solutions- used by law enforcement, public safety, medical, energy, public works, critical manufacturing, food & agricultural production, financial services, education, and other critical industries and businesses.
- Employees required in-person to support Software as a Service businesses that enable remote working, the performance of business operations, distance learning, media services, and digital health offerings or required for technical support crucial for business continuity and connectivity.
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