Enhancing Personal and Organizational Security During Civil Unrest


Authored by Scott Breor, CISA Acting Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security

As highlighted in the Department of Homeland Security’s National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin, the U.S. has experienced many incidents of civil unrest in the past year and in the current sociopolitical environment, there remains a potential for further unrest.  The right to assemble is recognized as a key American value and is protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Demonstrations are richly woven into the fabric of American history; however, domestic terrorists and other violent extremist actors may continue to leverage peaceful protests to attempt to incite, hate, destroy critical infrastructure, and inflict bodily harm. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provides resources to the infrastructure community to support efforts in protecting people and property.  The Protecting Infrastructure During Public Demonstrations fact sheet provides risk mitigation considerations for infrastructure owners and operators.

Extremist actors have also used rhetoric to attempt to threaten high-profile individuals associated with the management and operation of critical infrastructure.  CISA recommends that individuals, especially those with higher profile status, implement basic security measures to increase personal safety.  The Personal Security Considerations fact sheet provides several suspicious behavioral indicators and personal security measures to protect critical infrastructure and mitigate threats to personal safety.

For additional resources relating to personal and infrastructure security visit CISA’s Hometown Security program provides access to tools and resources to support community security and resilience; communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure.  Applying the steps connect, plan, train, and report in advance of an incident or attack can help better prepare businesses and their employees to proactively think about the role they play in the safety and security of their businesses and communities.