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Posted by Suzanne Spaulding, Deputy Under Secretary for the National Protection & Programs Directorate
Yesterday, President Obama declared December National Critical Infrastructure Protection Month. Our Nation’s critical infrastructure includes everything from power plants, chemical facilities and cyber networks to bridges and highways, stadiums and shopping malls, as well as the federal buildings where millions of Americans work and visit each day.
Protecting these assets is a shared responsibility. As required by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, The Department of Homeland Security leads this effort through a framework of public-private partnerships in close collaboration with the 18 critical infrastructure sectors, which include federal, state, and local governments as well as private sector infrastructure owners and operators.
Since September 11th, DHS has made great strides to improve the security and resiliency of national critical infrastructure. One of the most significant developments has been the linking of physical and cyber infrastructure. Businesses, governments, and individuals all rely on a vast and interdependent network of physical and cyber systems. At DHS, we continue to work with industry to identify and mitigate threats to the industrial control systems that operate everything from the power supply to water filtration.
An aware and vigilant public is a critical part of securing critical infrastructure. As Secretary Napolitano has said, “Homeland security starts with hometown security and everyone has a role to play.” The Department’s "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of suspicious behavior and to emphasize the importance of reporting such activity to the proper state and local law enforcement authorities.
Throughout this month, the Department will reach out to our partners and the public to raise awareness of what we can all do to protect and improve the resiliency of the nation’s vast array of critical assets and systems. It will take all of us working together to ensure these resources remain strong for the next generation.
Follow the Department’s critical infrastructure protection and resilience programs at www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure.