Saturday, December 10, 2011

National Infrastructure Protection Month

National Infrastructure Protection Plan 2009

Late last month, President Obama designated December as National Infrastructure Protection Month.  In the official news release provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Suzanne Spaulding, Deputy Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, noted that:

"Our Nation’s critical infrastructure includes everything from power plants, chemical facilities and cyber networks to bridges and highways, stadiums and shopping malls, as well as the federal buildings where millions of Americans work and visit each day.

Protecting these assets is a shared responsibility. As required by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, The Department of Homeland Security leads this effort through a framework of public-private partnerships in close collaboration with the 18 critical infrastructure sectors, which include federal, state, and local governments as well as private sector infrastructure owners and operators."

To learn more about this topic and the role geospatial technologies play in the effort, go here.

Comment: Despite all the chest beating that can be found in the various links above, the reality is that with 85% of the nation's critical infrastructure in the hands of private operators, there are limits on what DHS can do to protect the nation in this arena.  Consequently, as noted by Deputy Under Secretary Spaulding with her "shared responsibility" comment - without a collaborative working relationship with the nation's infrastructure owners, the DHS "mission" is dead on arrival.  It is for this reason, that companion efforts that bridge the public-private gap like the FBI's InfraGard program, and GITA's GECCo effort are absolutely critical to developing meaningful protection and resiliency for the nation's infrastructure.

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