Computers are everywhere in modern life (in case you forgot, you’re using one now.) Computers are used to control what’s called ‘Critical Infrastructure’ – a fancy way of saying ‘important things,’ like our water supply and our electricity. Computers and the networks that connect them are sometimes called ‘cyberspace,’ and cyberspace contains lots of information that criminals would like to steal if they could. Protecting cyberspace is called ‘cybersecurity,’ and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has got it covered!
CISA, which stands for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is in charge of protecting the United States from attacks on our important, computer-connected things—our critical infrastructure. Here are some of the ways DHS protects our computers and the information they hold.
The U.S. Government is big, and so are the computer networks that it uses. These networks store important information about laws and government programs, and even secret information about special government operations. It’s the duty of DHS to protect government computer networks from cybercriminals who want to steal, erase, or corrupt the information stored on them.
Nuclear power plants, water treatment facilities, and cell phone and Internet service providers all operate powerful equipment that is connected to large computer networks. DHS works with these businesses to show them how to make their networks and equipment more secure.
DHS is constantly studying and testing the latest technology to try to find out if that technology has any weaknesses that criminals might use to attack us or steal from us, and then try to fix those problems before anything happens. They work with the best scientists and experts in both government and business to try to keep our networks and information safe.