Cyber-threat landscape of border control infrastructures

Petros, Chatzis and Stavrou, Eliana orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4040-4942 (2022) Cyber-threat landscape of border control infrastructures. International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, 36 . ISSN 1874-5482

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Various events in recent decades, such as the 9/11 tragedy and the European migration crisis, have highlighted the critical nature of robust borders and the impact of associated attacks on their integrity. However, it is unclear as to the extent to which cyber-attacks can threaten border operations. Interestingly, no extensive research has been conducted into this topic, possibly due to the complexity and diversity of border controls. This paper specifies the cyber-threat landscape of border control infrastructures to assist professionals in assessing the relevant cybersecurity risks. Border control infrastructures are complex environments and relevant risks might not be easily identified. To investigate the cyber-threat landscape of these infrastructures, a mixed research method, combining qualitative and quantitative results, and using border-related expert interviews and risk analysis investigation was chosen. Key contributions of this work include the classification of a widespread set of border assets, the description of the profiles of threat actors and their potential synergies, the specification of a threat taxonomy applicable to all border types, and the identification of potential areas of vulnerability. Moreover, through the risk analysis investigations, exemplary input is developed to guide professionals while applying a risk assessment methodology in the context of border control infrastructures. The paper concludes with future directions addressed to policy makers and border professionals.

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