The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) conducts modeling, simulation, and analysis of the nation's critical infrastructure. NISAC analysts assess critical infrastructure risk, vulnerability, interdependencies, and event consequences.
NISAC began as a collaboration between Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in 1999 and was incorporated by the USA Patriot Act of 2001 into the Department of Homeland Security upon its inception in March 2003. The Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA) oversees NISAC operations.
OCIA prioritizes requests for analysis, and undertakes ventures to create or advance a needed capability to support government decision makers.
NISAC plays a vital role under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), which relies on robust public-private information sharing to protect and build resiliency for the Nation's vast infrastructure. The center's multidisciplinary expertise covers the full spectrum of 16 critical infrastructure sectors while focusing on the challenges posed by interdependencies and the consequences of disruption. (See section 6.3.2 of the NIPP.)
NISAC researchers and analysts conduct extensive modeling, simulation, and analysis to support risk mitigation and policy planning. They also provide real-time assistance to decision makers at all levels of government and private sector infrastructure owner/operator partners during critical incidents including hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and manmade events.
Infrastructure Analysis and Policy Planning
NISAC analyses help planners prepare for and respond to events that threaten or affect critical infrastructure. Because catastrophic events such as hurricanes and earthquakes do not follow jurisdictional boundaries, NISAC focuses on cross-discipline, cross-jurisdictional preparation and response.
In-depth analyses provide a better understanding of infrastructure disruption impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.
Analysts also integrate expertise from the center's core partners, their collaborators, and system experts. OCIA personnel manage NISAC projects and serve as customer liaisons to clarify requirements and increase communications between NISAC performers and study sponsors.
OCIA's planned analyses include:
- Pandemic influenza
- Chemical supply chain
- Hurricane scenario analyses for Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
- Global finance and payment systems
- The Future Of Smart Cities: Cyber-Physical Infrastructure Risk
- Cloud Technologies
- Vehicle Cyber Vulnerabilities
- California water systems
- Power grid
- Southern California earthquakes
Incident Response Fast Analysis & Simulation Team
A central resource point for the Department, NISAC's Fast Analysis and Simulation Team (FAST) provides practical information within severe time constraints in response to issues of immediate national importance. FAST uses NISAC's long-term planning and analysis results, subject matter expertise, and a suite of models to rapidly respond to questions on affected sectors, the consequences of infrastructure interdependencies, and potential economic impacts.
OCIA personnel help integrate NISAC analyses into other government decision processes to increase situational awareness and assure the best possible products within time constraints.
Examples of NISAC's FAST analyses:
- U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada cross-border transportation corridors
- Midwest flooding impact
- Cross-border pipelines
- NYC bridges and tunnels
- International assets
- New England water infrastructure
- Southern California wildfires
- Mexico critical energy infrastructure
- Key chemical facilities and chokepoints
For Further Information
To help in planning and readiness, NISAC pre-incident studies and other reports are made available to security partners through the Homeland Security Information Network.
Learn more about NISAC from OCIA@hq.dhs.gov and from Sandia, Los Alamos and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories.