The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) is the agency charged with providing advice to any entity within the United Kingdom that owns or operates services or property critical to commerce, public health or security. These entities include public and private institutions, companies or organizations that are in charge of water and food supplies, energy, financial institutions, telecommunications networks, medicial facilities and emergency services. The CPNI primarily targets its advice and evaluations to preserving and protecting critical national infrastructure (CNI), particularly the elements vulnerable to terrorist attack.
The CPNI separates potential security concerns into three different areas: physical attacks, insider attacks and electronic attacks. In recent years, the CPNI has issued periodic warnings about increasing levels of cybercrime. Securing digital systems, including open wireless access points, implementing strong firewalls and encrypting communications are all important priorities, analogous to securing physical property and facilities. According to its Web site, the CPNI "examines all types of electronic attack on information and process control systems that form part of the UK's critical national infrastructure," including malware, botnets, keystroke loggers, phishing and dedicated denial of service (DDos) attacks. The agency works with vendors to ensure that patches for vulnerabilities are released effectively and responsibly.
CPNI was created from a merger of the United Kingdom's National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC), a part of MI5 and the National Security Advice Centre (NSAC).