One thing NEWSREP strives to maintain coverage on is domestic security.  National security IS domestic security.  If a country fails to protect a factory in one of its hometowns, its national defense apparatus is effectively moot.

Although Federal attention has been paid to critical infrastructure since 1996, on a national strategic scale, critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) have been a domestic and national security priority since the issuance of PDD-63 through presidential directive by President Bill Clinton in May 1998.  This directive addressed security concerns regarding the interdependent infrastructures that are critical to the operation of the United States and the well-being of its people.

Infrastructure is defined, in this case, as the system or systems required for a community, municipality, state, or nation to function.  These systems include the “hard” physical networks needed for industry or transportation, and the “soft” institutions that provide things like education, banking, or emergencies services. Some examples are:

  • shelter
  • environmental control
  • agriculture
  • power generation and access
  • transportation
  • communications
  • economic services

Since PDD-63, the United States government has improved upon and intensified CIKR protection programs. In 2001, the Patriot Act further defined CIKR as, “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.” President Bush updated Clinton’s PDD-63 on December 17, 2003, with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-7 for Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection, which stated that CIKR is “so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety.” In 2014, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework was added to these updates

HSPD-7 also established the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). This document, most recently updated in 2013 with PPD-21 (which supersedes HSPD-7), unifies CIKR protection efforts nationally. The NIPP establishes the guidelines through which the Federal, state, and local governments may more cohesively engage CIKR protection through coordination with private sector partners, and through each of the CIKR Sectors set up by DHS. This is done through the Government Coordinating Councils and Sector Coordinating Councils.

The CIKR Sectors are:

In follow-on articles, we will discuss these sectors.

Read more here.

Featured image courtesy of www.cyber.nj.gov.