The information technology sector (IT sector)
|“||consists of companies that develop the advanced hardware and software and provide the services that have not only made the Internet an extraordinarily fertile environment for innovations creating new value and greater efficiency, but also other non-Internet, information and communication-based innovations that have supported a record of rapid and sustained economic growth.||”|
The Information Technology (IT) Sector is central to the U.S.'s security, economy, and public health and safety. Businesses, governments, academia, and private citizens are increasingly dependent upon IT Sector functions. These virtual and distributed functions produce and provide hardware, software, and IT systems and services, and — in collaboration with the Communications Sector — the Internet. The IT Sector functions are operated by a combination of entities — often owners and operators and their respective associations — that maintain and reconstitute the network, including the Internet. The Internet encompasses the global infrastructure of packet-based networks and databases that use a common set of protocols to communicate. The networks are connected by various Transports, and the availability of these networks and services is the collective responsibility of the IT and Communications Sectors.
The Sector's complex and dynamic environment makes identifying threats and assessing vulnerabilities difficult, and requires that these tasks be addressed in a collaborative and creative fashion. Although the IT infrastructure has a certain level of inherent resilience, its interdependent and interconnected structure presents challenges as well as opportunities for coordinating public and private sector preparedness and protection activities. The IT Sector is at constant risk from cyberthreats, and identifying threat actors, intrusion methods, and network vulnerabilities are critical to mitigation and longer-term defensive strategies.
- Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce Report to Congress 9 (Apr. 3, 2000).