Network Analysis

April 19, 2024
International Public Sector Accounting and Finance
April 19, 2024
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Network Analysis

Part 1

Type of Network

The Communications Network is a broad network that joins multiple nodes, assets links, and hubs. However, given that most nodes do not neighbor each other but instead connect to each other after a few steps, the communications sector network is a small world network (Jia, Hu, & Zhao, 2014).  In a small world network such as that of the communications sector, nodes are not linked directly to their direct neighbors but instead, will be connected to other nodes on a different part of the network. To link to each other, however, the nodes are surrounded by numerous assets and connections around them.

Why understanding Network Type is Important

Understanding a network type, whether a scale-free or a small world is essential for network analysis. Network analysis, on the other hand, is necessary to understand the risks and vulnerabilities that a network faces; hence it is imperative to state that understanding a network type is helps with risk assessment (Dunn, Fu, Wilkinson, & Dawson, 2013; Milanovic & Zhu, 2018). For instance, while the communication sector is a small world network, it is not a cascading system. This, therefore, implies that a failure in one node will not affect the entire system, however understanding the network type helps realize the most critical nodes, assets, and links, those that if affected would have a severe adverse impact on the country and users in general.

Critical Node and assets

The broadcast node, which is tasked with video, audio and data programming through numerous channels represent one of the essential nodes of the communication sector. Most communication that runs through the sectors network originates from the broadcast node, which proves its importance to the network (Homeland Security, 2015). Additionally, for years, this has been the primary mode of passing emergency information due to the various analog and digital channels available in the node, although recent years have seen attempts to upgrade the national emergency system to a more digital platform. At the same time, the broadcast node contains many assets and links that are vulnerable to both natural and human-made risks (Richards, 2015). These include communication base centers and masts through which functionality is achieved.

Network Analysis and Resource Allocation

Conducting a network analysis on the communication sector will help choose a resource allocation model that is intended to increase protection and resilience on the network. Security is enabled by the fact that models can be used to determine which areas need more resources while considering the scarcity of such resources. In addition to the network analysis helping in resource allocation model choice selection, it saves time since all areas are listed and critically understood before the resources are identified, saving time in the process (Harrald, Renda-Tanali, Shaw, Rubin, & Yeletaysi, 2004).

Part 2

National Placement of the Communication Sector

The Department of Homeland Security has designated 16 sectors as the critical infrastructure of which the communications sector is part of (DHS, 2019). This designation is because the communication sector is responsible for the passing of information from one end to another where the information can be used for further purposes, such as security enhancement, financial transactions, educational or recreational purposes among others. However, while the sector virtually links all individuals, sectors, and departments together, its place toward the creation of jobs is equally not to be ignored. For instance, a 2014 report by the DHS indicates that in that year alone, information and communication technology had approximately 3.5 million jobs while directly or indirectly injecting a trillion dollars to the United States gross domestic product (Homeland Security, 2015). This, therefore, places it as a crucial sector on the national level, and failure in part or entirety would have unprecedented negative impacts that would be felt by a large number of people, departments and sectors.

Relationship and Dependence on Other Networks

Communication is essential for the functioning of any nation. This is because while the communication sector is necessary on its own, it plays significant roles in other sectors, which include the Information technology sector, the financial services sector, energy sector, and the transportation sector. However, while this paper only lists four critical infrastructure sectors that are directly impacted or related to the communications sector, it is important to note that nearly all sectors are dependent on communication to have their services and functions run smoothly (DHS, 2019).

The Information Technology Sector

The Information technology sector provides the technological infrastructure through which the communication sector can operate. For instance, computer and computer systems, which include hardware and software among other appliances are produced in the information technology sector but form the core basis of the communication sector operations (Homeland Security, 2015; DHS, 2019). However, this relationship is symbiotic since the Information technology sector, on the other hand, depends on the communication sector to have its applications and services delivered to the end users, spurring the sectors and the entire nation’s economic growth.


The Energy Sector

This sector provides power that is used to run equipment, central towers, operate principal offices as well as other important at communications facilities. On the other hand, the energy sector depends on the communications sector to control and monitor the delivery of electricity as well as pass out emergency information (DHS, 2019).

The Financial services sector

The finances sector is marked by numerous transactions and operations within the financial markets on a daily basis. These transactions cannot occur without proper communication among the players; hence the communication sector is responsible for the transmission the transactional information. On the other hand, the financial industry provides means for the communication sector can achieve innovation and growth (Homeland Security, 2015).

The Transportation Sector

The transportation sector depends on the communication sector to obtain communication on road and weather conditions and transport related warnings. On the other hand, this sector ferries fuel for backup generators as well as personnel who operate in this sector (DHS, 2019).

Challenges facing the Communications Sector

The Communications sector is currently facing increased challenges, although some obstacles emanate from other sectors. Firstly, cybercrime has seen a significant rise in the recent past. Cybercrime and warfare for that matter threaten to destabilize and stop the operations of the communications by employing issues such as hacking, denials of service attacks, as well as the release of viruses, worms, and malware in target computer networks through which the communications sector obtains its functionality (Homeland Security, 2015). On the other hand, natural phenomena such as cyclones and hurricanes may destroy expensive infrastructure making it difficult for the sector to function normally.

US Communication Policies

The convergence of the communication sector, following the entry of the internet possess a challenge to the establishment of policies within the communications sector which in effect affect resource allocation to critical components within the network (Bar & Sandvig, 2008). For instance, different media within the communication system were subject to various regulations doctrines, which included the press, post, broadcast, and telephone.  Given that the communication sector, similar to other sectors has heavy involvement from the private corporate sectors, these different regulations determine which player can own what part of the network and what information can be conveyed through specific parts of the communication sector. The internet, however, has changed how things are conducted within the communications sector since voice, video, and data can now be achieved over the internet, shifting focus as to where the critical nodes are, while at the same time impacting resource allocation.

Critical nodes Capability and assets

The Communication sector is made up of five nodes, which are supported by numerous assets with a wide range of capabilities. These include the satellite, broadcast, Cable, wireline, and wireless nodes. While all these nodes are important, the most critical nodes in the networks include the broadcast and satellite nodes (Dunn, Fu, Wilkinson, & Dawson, 2013).

The Broadcast Node

The broadcast node represents the node from which all broadcast or communication emanate. This broadcast includes video, audio, and data transmission that are through several media to reach the citizens and end users. The Broadcast node utilizes VHF, UHF, AM and AM frequencies, although there are additional digital methods used to transmit the communication. The reason why this node is critical is based on the fact that it initiates the communication process while all other nodes, are only responsible for conversions, rechanneling and amplification of waves along the way to the final recipient. The Critical assets around this node include transmission masts and communication base stations through which the broadcast originates and is channeled towards other nodes (Homeland Security, 2015).

The Satellite Node

The Satellite node involves launching a platform into space to help relay voice, video, and data signals from sender communication masts to receivers. For instance, a broadcast station in one state will transmit signals, which will then be sent to the satellite, for redirecting to receiver masts on the ground as well as gadgets. A disruption of the functionality of the satellite would mean that communication would leave the broadcast station and fail to reach the recipient. However, it is essential that this node is also an asset and a link in the network.

Risk Assessment within the Communication Sector

Risk assessment implies analyzing all potential situations that may put a critical node in jeopardy (Harrald, Renda-Tanali, Shaw, Rubin, & Yeletaysi, 2004). As previously stated the primary crucial node in the communication sector is the broadcast sector, hence this section conducts a risk assessment that will be useful in determining critical areas for resource allocation. Firstly, since communication is finally going online, utilizing information technology, the broadcast node is subjected to online risks that include cybercrime and warfare. This includes Hacking attempts, DoS attacks, malware, worms, and virus releases, all of which are aimed at stealing, preventing or corrupting the transmission of sensitive information (Homeland Security, 2015). On the other hand, human error, as well as physical attacks on base stations may see these node lose its functionality. Finally, albeit to a small extent, adverse weather conditions and geological phenomena pose a challenge to infrastructure which if destroyed would decapitate the broadcast node’s ability to broadcast. However, the most important risk is that posed by cybercriminals.

Mitigation Strategies

Since Cyber warfare goes beyond the scope of a specific sector, the government should enhance its fight against cybercrime through deterrence. On the other hand, the node should be equipped with all relevant tools to detect attempts of intrusion (Setola, Luiijf, & Theocharidou, 2016). This includes setting up firewalls and having antiviruses to help prevent intrusions. Additionally, Security features at base stations should be enhanced where personnel accessing such facilities can be requested to use electronic cards for identification while the areas must be adequately fenced to keep off intruders from the premises. Additional mitigation measures would include having a backup generator to have the systems up and running in case of a power blackout, training personnel to handle attacks or incidences which would help reduce impacts, as well as having a warning and emergency system that would help notify staff on attempts of intrusion or attacks.

Resource Allocation Model

In this instance, the resource allocation model to be used would be one that takes care of most important functions sections of the node, which despite an attack on the rest of the network would still be functional. In essence, this would ensure that the effects of an actualized risk do not blow out of proportion but rather, such would be controlled with a lot of ease and efficiency. As such resources should be allocated towards an emergency system on top of the list since the warning system should help make stakeholders aware and prepared for the incoming threat. Preparedness also helps minimize impact. On the other hand, base stations should focus on an efficient backup generator for use in the event of a power blackout.





















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DHS. (2019). Infrastructure Security: Overview. Retrieved from Homeland Security:

Dunn, S., Fu, G., Wilkinson, S., & Dawson, R. (2013). Network Theory for Infrastructure Systems Modelling. Engineering Sustainability, 166(5), 34-63.

Harrald, J. R., Renda-Tanali, I., Shaw, G., Rubin, C., & Yeletaysi, S. (2004). Review of risk-based prioritization/decision-making methodologies for dams. Washington, DC: The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management.

Homeland Security. (2015). Communications Sector-Specific Plan An Annex to the NIPP 2013. Washington D.C: Homeland Security.

Jia, H., Hu, G., & Zhao, H. (2014). Topological Properties of a 3-Regular Small World Network. Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, 1(1), 1-4.

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Setola, R., Luiijf, E., & Theocharidou, M. (2016). Critical Infrastructures, Protection and Resilience. In R. Setola, V. Rosato, E. Kyriakides, & E. Rome, Managing the Complexity of Critical Infrastructures (pp. 1-18). New York: Springer.