The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unveiled a new website, “Critical Infrastructure Protection,” as part of the agency’s attempt to raise public awareness of the importance of critical infrastructure and key assets (CIKR). The page contains links to critical infrastructure protection programs and plans, as well as resources.
The page is geared toward the general public and the familiar layout is the same as other DHS pages.
From energy systems that power our neighborhoods, to transportation networks that move us around our communities and the country, to facilities that provide our families with safe drinking water, critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives.
In short, CIKR is an umbrella term referring to the assets of the United States essential to the nation’s security, public health and safety, economic vitality, and way of life. CIKR is divided into 18 separate sectors, as diverse as agriculture and food, emergency services, and cyber networks.
Because this critical infrastructure provides our country with the enormous benefits, services and opportunities on which we rely, we are very mindful of the risks posed to CIKR by terrorists, pandemic diseases and natural disasters. At the Department of Homeland Security, we know that these threats can have serious effects, such as cutting populations off from clean water, power, transportation, or emergency supplies.
Secretary Napolitano is working to raise awareness about the importance of our nation’s critical infrastructure, and strengthen our ability to protect it. The Department oversees programs and resources that foster public-private partnerships, enhance protective programs, and build national resiliency to withstand natural disasters and terrorist threats. Key activities in those areas include:
- Assessing vulnerabilities, implementing protective programs, and improving security protocols
- Enhancing preparedness through training and exercises
- Assisting with contingency planning, response, and recovery
- Implementing real-time information sharing
- Implementing cybersecurity measures
- Assisting with infrastructure data collection and management
- Implementing regulations for high-risk chemical facilities
- Developing standards for federal building security
See the Critical Infrastructure Protection website here.