The Enhanced Critical Infrastructure Protection (ECIP) initiative is a voluntary assessment that includes outreach, which establishes or enhances the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) relationship with critical infrastructure owners and operators and informs them of their facilities’ importance and need for vigilance, and security surveys, which are conducted by DHS protective security advisors (PSAs) to assess the overall security and resilience of the nation’s most critical infrastructure sites.
The primary goals of the ECIP initiative are to:
- Forge strong relationships among the owners and operators of the nation’s most critical facilities; DHS; and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners. These relationships increase communications and information sharing, enhance sector security, and provide facility owners and operators access to federal tools and resources.
- Inform and educate facility owners and operators about resilience and their site or facility’s specific vulnerabilities and threats.
To accomplish these goals, PSAs leverage existing relationships and coordinate DHS programs and resources to enhance protection and resilience efforts. These efforts include outreach, training and education, and recommended protective measures.
PSAs conduct voluntary ECIP security surveys in coordination with facility owners and operators, state homeland security advisors, local law enforcement, the sector-specific agencies (SSAs) that oversee the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, and other critical infrastructure partners, such as industry organizations, to:
- Identify facilities’ physical security, security forces, security management, protective measures, information sharing, dependencies, and capabilities related to preparedness, mitigation, response, resilience, and recovery.
- Create facility protective and resilience measures indices that can be compared to similar facilities.
- Inform planning and resource allocation for implementing protective and resiliency measures.
- Track the implementation of new protective and resilience measures.
Owners and operators are given the resulting survey information. This information may also be shared with the SSAs and other federal, state, local, and private sector representatives through interactive dashboards that graphically display collected survey data. In addition to overviewing a sector’s security and resilience, the dashboards highlight areas of potential concern and feature options to view the impact of potential enhancements on protective and resilience measures.
ECIP metrics provide DHS with information on the protective and resilience measures in place at facilities. They also enable detailed analyses of site and sector vulnerabilities. This approach allows the Department to:
- Identify and document the overall security of critical infrastructure.
- Provide information for protective and resilience planning and resource allocation.
- Facilitate government information sharing.
- Enhance its ability to analyze data and produce improved metrics.