print preview

Critical Infrastructures

Sectors, sub-sectors and elements

The list of critical infrastructures (CI) consists of ten sectors, divided into 27 sub-sectors, or branches. For example, the sector ‘Energy’ is made up of the sub-sectors ‘power supply’, ‘oil supply’, ‘gas supply’ and ‘district and process heating’. In general, each individual element (operating companies, IT systems, facilities, buildings, etc.) providing services in one of the 27 sub-sectors is considered part of the critical infrastructure, regardless of its criticality. The criticality of an infrastructure refers to its relative importance in terms of the consequences that its failure would have on the population and its vital resources. Criticality depends on the particular level of perspective: for example, some critical infrastructures at local or communal level may have a high level of criticality (e.g. a transformer station in the distribution grid), while others have a high level of criticality at national or even international level (e.g. central control systems in the transmission network).

Critical infrastructure sectors and sub-sectors

In its CIP Strategy, the Federal Council identified the following critical infrastructure sectors and sub-sectors:

  • Energy (natural gas supply, oil supply, power supply, district and process heating)
  • Finances (financial and insurance services)
  • Information & communication (information technologies, media, postal service, telecommunications)
  • Public administration (teaching and research, cultural assets, parliament, government, justice, administration)
  • Public health (medical care, laboratory services)
  • Public safety (armed forces, emergency services, civil defence)
  • Transport (air transport, rail transport, road transport, water transport)
  • Food and water (food supply, water supply)
  • Waste disposal (refuse, sewage)

Inventory of critical infrastructure elements

The inventory of critical infrastructure elements (CIP Inventory) identifies individual critical structure elements of strategic significance. On the one hand these elements include important buildings and facilities, such as power supply, telecommunications (internet) and national road network hubs, whose inventory was compiled for the first time from 2012. On the other hand it includes, for the first time, important IT systems, for example for the management of the power network or rail traffic, and major operating companies. The CIP Inventory serves the parties authorised to access it (federal and cantonal authorities as well as operating companies) as a basis for planning and setting priorities with regard both to risk management and incident response. The inventory is a classified document and is not available to the public.

Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern


Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP

Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern