Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Francis Atuahene, PhD, MPA

Committee Member

Kristen B. Crossney, PhD

Committee Member

Mark W. Davis, PhD, MPA


This study examines the Defense-in-Depth (DiD) strategy and the influence of organizational factors in protecting U.S. critical infrastructure against cyberattacks and geopolitical risks. The primary purpose of this study is to review the security risks, federal directives, and the benefits of strategic collaboration between public and private sectors to enhance the security and resilience of U.S. critical infrastructure in the energy sector. This study utilized qualitative analysis supplemented with secondary data as its research methodology to attain comprehensive insight into the fundamental elements, guiding principles, and advantages of the DiD strategy. Additionally, the research methodology was used to investigate the organizational factors that impact the efficacy of the DiD strategy. The qualitative data presented in this study found that when implemented effectively, the DiD strategy significantly enhances the security and resilience of energy infrastructure.

Furthermore, the data presented in this study suggests that organizational factors greatly influence the effectiveness of the DiD strategy. Lastly, the study highlighted the importance of the relationship between cybersecurity and public policy and administration. As a result, the study recommends informed policymaking and regulatory frameworks to address cybersecurity challenges in the energy sector. These recommendations include developing sector-specific cybersecurity standards, increasing investment in modernization efforts, and establishing proactive measures, such as the DiD strategy, to mitigate cyberattacks and geopolitical risks. In closing, the Defense-in-Depth (DiD) strategy, when executed effectively with the support of leadership, is a practical approach to protecting U.S. energy infrastructure from cyberattacks and geopolitical risks.