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Critical Infrastructure Protection Partnerships and Information Sharing

Ensuring the protection and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a shared responsibility among multiple stakeholders—neither government nor the private sector alone has the knowledge, authority, or resources to do it alone.

The Department believes that public-private partnerships are the foundation for effective critical infrastructure protection and resilience strategies, and that timely, trusted information sharing among stakeholders is essential to the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

The Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) has established a critical infrastructure protection and resilience program that is grounded in unprecedented public-private partnerships, coordination, and collaboration.

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Regional Partnerships and Mission Collaboration

The Office of Infrastructure Protection is dedicated to strengthening and expanding critical infrastructure expertise within and across regions of the United States. Accordingly, IP is strengthening its regionally based personnel, capabilities, and programs to better support regional partnerships and infrastructure protection efforts.

As part of this personnel expansion in the field and to ensure effective coordination between IP headquarters and regional personnel, IP has established a mission collaboration staff. Their role is largely internal to IP, in support of regional partnerships and to ensure coordinated delivery of tools, capabilities, and products for a unified approach to critical infrastructure activities within regions.

To build and strengthen regional partnerships, IP works with both voluntary and regulatory personnel and programs supporting states and regions:

  • Regional Directors (RDs): IP’s Regional Directors are the Supervisory Protective Security Advisors (PSAs) that lead PSA activities in each region.
  • Protective Security Advisors (PSAs): PSAs are security experts that serve as direct links between the Department and critical infrastructure partners in the field. They assist with state and local critical infrastructure security efforts by establishing and maintaining relationships with state Homeland Security Advisors and critical infrastructure stakeholders, as well as public and private sector partners. PSAs are located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and serve as the Infrastructure Liaisons at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Joint Field Office and in state and county emergency operations centers, where they provide expert knowledge of the impacted infrastructure; maintain communications with critical infrastructure owners and operators; and prioritize and coordinate critical infrastructure response, recovery, and restoration.
  • Geospatial Analysts: Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data (HIFLD) to the Regions teams provide critical infrastructure data and visualization capabilities to the PSAs and serve as field extension support to the HIFLD working group. Partners in this program include the Department of Defense, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) Analysts: HITRAC contains both region- and sector-specific analysts and manages the advanced modeling, simulation, and analysis efforts of the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). HITRAC analytic products are available on the Critical Sectors portion of the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN-CS). Partners can request subject matter expert support from HITRAC to supplement their own infrastructure analysis efforts.
  • Chemical Security Inspectors: Chemical Security Inspectors are positioned in 11 regional offices across the United States and conduct security inspections and/or audits at facilities covered by the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). The Department inspects high-risk facilities at regular intervals, but inspectors from the Department may inspect a facility at any time based on new information or security concerns. Depending on particular circumstances, the Department will provide facilities 24-hour advance notice for compliance inspections, unless specific security concerns or exigent circumstances demand immediate attention. To contact the Chemical Security Inspectors in your area, call the CFATS Help Desk at 866-323-2957.
  • Regional Resiliency Assessment Program: IP’s Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) evaluates critical infrastructure in specific geographic regions to examine vulnerabilities, threats, and potential consequences from an all-hazards perspective. RRAP assessments identify regional critical infrastructure dependencies, interdependencies, and cascading effects and critical systems’ ability to recovery quickly from an event. Participation in RRAP is voluntary, and the information collected is protected under the Protected Critical Infrastructure Information Program.

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Public-Private Partnership Councils

The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) established a partnership framework that enables federal, state, regional, local, tribal, territorial, and international governments to work with each other and their private sector partners. The Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) supports a legal framework for their collaboration.

 

Illustration showing the NIPP Partnership Framework


The NIPP Partnership Framework. See the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, Chapter 4, for more information.

Partnership engagement enhances communication, planning, risk assessment, program implementation, and operational activities, including incident response and recovery. A networked alliance of critical infrastructure partnership councils helps implement protection and resilience activities across the nation:

  • Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) are self-organized and -governed entities of private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators. SCCs serve as the federal government’s principal point of entry into 16 of the 18 critical infrastructure sectors (two sectors are government owned and led and have only Government Coordinating Councils).
  • Government Coordinating Councils (GCCs) serve as the government counterpart to the SCCs and focus on maximizing interagency coordination and information sharing.
  • Cross-Sector Councils promote coordination, communication, and best practices across the critical sectors and regionally in order to identify commonalities and address interdependencies.

Visit Critical Infrastructure Sector Partnerships for more information.

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Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience

Effective risk management requires the integration of resources, capabilities, knowledge, and experience across owners and operators of critical infrastructure and all levels of government. Information sharing refers to this coordination and occurs through a variety of mechanisms.

IP is implementing the critical infrastructure mission component of the federal Information Sharing Environment through the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Information Sharing Environment (CIKR ISE).

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