Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure: Assessing Vulnerabilities Across Key Sectors


  • Dr. A. Shaji George Independent Researcher, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Dr. T. Baskar Professor, Department of Physics, Shree Sathyam College of Engineering and Technology, Sankari Taluk, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Dr. P. Balaji Srikaanth Asst Professor, Department of Networking and Communications -School of Computing, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India



Cybersecurity, Cyber threats, Cyber resilience, Risk management, Critical infrastructure, Data breaches, Ransomware, Digital transformation, Governance, Defense strategies


This paper examines the growing threat of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure across key industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance, energy, and retail. With cyberattacks rapidly increasing in scale, sophistication, and impact, vital systems and sensitive data are at risk. The paper provides a comparative framework to assess the cyber vulnerability of major sectors based on factors such as adoption of new technologies, presence of legacy systems, monetary and safety implications of breaches, and value of compromised data. An analysis of manufacturing finds that while digital transformation via IoT and industrial control systems enables efficiency gains, it also expands the attack surface. Healthcare faces threats to patient safety from ransomware and data theft, while finance suffers monetary losses and reputational damage from compromised accounts and transactions. For energy, reliability concerns and geopolitical threats accompany increased connectivity of distributed grids. Retail grapples with website attacks, payment system breaches and large-scale customer data theft. To gather sector-specific data, the methodology combines datasets from government agencies, industry reports, and breach records. Criteria used for cross-sector comparisons include financial impact, sensitivity of compromised data, and cybersecurity readiness based on IT budgets, staffing, and past attacks. The results allow prioritization of the most acute vulnerabilities and development of tailored recommendations to improve defenses in each industry. The discussion synthesizes findings across sectors, identifying common challenges like legacy systems and talent gaps as well as sector-specific issues such as industrial control risks in manufacturing. Comparisons reveal industries lagging in cybersecurity investments and preparedness. The paper concludes with strategic recommendations for public and private stakeholders to collaborate across sectors on advancing standards, information sharing, R&D, and workforce development. As cyber threats exploit the growing dependence of critical infrastructure on digital connectivity and data, proactive risk assessments and cross-industry security efforts are imperative. This research contributes an analytical framework and methodology for evaluating cyber risk, informing strategies to harden vulnerabilities in vital industries against attack. The insights aim to spur action on this key national security and public safety priority.




How to Cite

Dr. A. Shaji George, Dr. T. Baskar, & Dr. P. Balaji Srikaanth. (2024). Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure: Assessing Vulnerabilities Across Key Sectors. Partners Universal International Innovation Journal, 2(1), 51–75.