Ensuring the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a shared responsibility among multiple stakeholders because neither government nor the private sector alone has the knowledge, authority, or resources to do it alone. Public-private partnerships are the foundation for effective critical infrastructure security and resilience strategies, and 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 security and resilience program that is grounded in unprecedented public-private partnerships, coordination, and collaboration.
Regional Partnerships and Mission Collaboration
DHS is dedicated to strengthening and expanding critical infrastructure expertise within and across the United States. Accordingly, IP has set up IP regional offices in each of the 10 federal regions to better support regional partnerships and infrastructure security and resilience efforts.
To build and strengthen regional partnerships, IP works with both voluntary and regulatory personnel and programs supporting states and regions:
- Protective Security Advisors (PSAs): PSAs are security experts located across the country who serve as direct links between the Department and critical infrastructure partners in the field. They assist 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 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) in the IP regional offices 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.
- Chemical Security Inspectors: Chemical Security Inspectors are positioned in 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.
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.
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 security and resilience activities across the nation:
- Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) are self-organized and -governed entities of private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators and affiliated trade association representatives. SCCs serve as the federal government’s principal point of entry into the critical infrastructure sectors they represent for policy, coordination and planning, and a range of related sector-specific security and resilience activities.
- 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.
Information Sharing Tools and Platforms
Effective risk management requires the integration of resources, capabilities, knowledge, and experience across owners and operators of critical infrastructure and all levels of government. Learn more on how DHS facilitates this critical information sharing through a variety of different tools.