Critical Infrastructure Protection: Policy & Security Insights

What does senior leadership look like in times of crisis? How do organisations navigate out of scale events? And what does that look like when these events are so infrequent or novel that they defy a standard response?

These are the questions that Peter Murphy, Noetic Director, will answer at the Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience North America Conference in Tampa, Florida. Joining a quality line up of international speakers and expert panelists, sharing their insights and knowledge, Peter will explore effective leadership in times of crisis.


Peter, based in Noetic’s Washington D.C. office, draws on Noetic’s extensive lessons learned whilst working on wildfires, hurricanes, floods, mining disasters, disease outbreaks, and major oil spills. The study of these disasters from around the world span a period of over fifteen years. A number of recurring lessons emerged. The major thematic lessons include:


Leaders at all levels are put under a significant test by major events. In situations where the response is poor, ineffective leadership at senior levels is often evident.


A poor response is often characterised by ineffective planning. This is not so much about pre-planning, although this can be important, but rather a lack of planning that adapts to the changing situation.


An effective response is hard to develop when information on the situation is not sought and incorporated into the planning. Many poor responses are characterised by a failure to look out beyond the immediate situation and to try to understand what could happen.

Resource allocation

The ineffective allocation of resources (particularly scarce resources) is also a recurring theme. This includes inaction, whereby resources are not allocated to the response because of a paralysis of decision making at senior levels.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience conference theme for 2019 is Collaborating and Cooperating for Greater Security. It aims to help participants understand the everchanging nature of threats, whether natural through climate change, or man-made through terrorist activities such as physical or cyber-attacks.

The context for the conference is US Presidential Policy Directive 21: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, which advances a national policy to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning and resilient critical infrastructure.  Ensuring an effective response to any incident is a key part of enabling this Directive.

Peter Murphy will explore these key themes in his conference discussion, some of which is based around Noetic Knowledge, Effective Leadership in Times of Crisis.

You can learn more about the Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience North America Conference, 7-9 May 2019 here.