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Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

In February 2013, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13,636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” and Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-21, “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.” The policies set forth in these directives will strengthen the security and resilience of critical infrastructure against evolving threats and hazards. These documents call for an updated and overarching national framework that reflects the increasing role of cybersecurity in securing physical assets.

Securing critical infrastructure against growing and evolving cyber threats requires a layered approach. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to prevent, respond to, and coordinate mitigation efforts against attempted disruptions and adverse impacts to the nation’s critical cyber and communications networks and infrastructure, as well as a range of additional hazards, including terrorism and natural disasters.

DHS is the Federal government’s lead agency for coordinating the protection, prevention, mitigation, and recovery from cyber incidents. DHS also works regularly with business owners and operators to strengthen their facilities and communities by sharing cyber and other threat information. To further these important efforts, the Cybersecurity EO directed the expansion of the DHS Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program. Through ECS, DHS will assist critical infrastructure entities in reducing their cyber risk and more effectively keep sensitive data and critical systems secure. 

DHS has established an integrated task force to guide the implementation of the EO and PPD. In support of that effort, DHS and the Department of Commerce recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to improve the synchronization and mutual support of their respective efforts to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

In support of the Department’s efforts to implement Presidential Policy Directive 21 on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, we have created a collaboration community on IdeaScale. We encourage you to submit comments and ideas through IdeaScale so that we can work together to build a stronger foundation for securing and protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure.

For more information about the EO on Cybersecurity and PPD-21 on Critical Infrastructure, please visit:

Last Published Date: August 6, 2013
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