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Working Together to Strengthen the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

Posted by Bruce McConnell, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity

To facilitate our on-going conversation about strengthening the security and resilience of our Nation’s critical infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is creating a Collaboration Community on IdeaScale that will allow you to share your thoughts.

Critical infrastructure is the backbone of our country’s national and economic security. It includes power plants, chemical facilities, communications networks, bridges, highways, and stadiums, as well as the federal buildings where millions of Americans work and visit each day.  DHS coordinates the national protection, prevention, mitigation, and recovery from cyber incidents and works regularly with business owners and operators to take steps to strengthen their facilities and communities. 

Because the vast majority of U.S. critical infrastructure is owned and operated by private companies, reducing the risk to these vital systems requires a strong partnership between government and industry.  DHS has been leading the Integrated Task Force (ITF) made up of representatives from various levels of government and the private sector to implement the policies that will enhance our nation’s ability to protect our critical infrastructure.

DHS collaborates with the public and private sector every day to identify, prevent, mitigate and respond to attempted disruptions to the Nation’s critical cyber and communications networks.  On April 19, we hosted a workshop with our public and private sector partners to discuss ways to encourage participation in, and the adoption of, the voluntary cybersecurity framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  This workshop was the first in a series of outreach efforts as we work to implement EO 13636.

In support of our efforts to implement Presidential Policy Directive 21on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, we encourage you to submit comments and ideas using the IdeaScale public dialogue tool – a simple, web-based forum —so that we can build a stronger foundation for securing and protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure. For more information about the Department’s efforts to strengthen and secure the Nation’s critical infrastructure, please visit here.

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