This post was originally published on the DHS blog. The author, Suzanne Spaulding, serves as Deputy Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). As Deputy Under Secretary, she oversees Infrastructure Protection, US-VISIT, and the Federal Protective Service, with a mission to reduce the risk to, and enhance the resiliency of, critical infrastructure, secure federal facilities, and advance identity management and verification.
Protecting and ensuring the continuity of critical infrastructure in the United States is essential to our nation’s national security, public health and safety and economic prosperity. At the same time, growing interdependencies across the systems that control our infrastructure, particularly information and communications technologies, have increased vulnerabilities across a range of physical and cyber threats that can include extreme weather, aging infrastructure, industrial accidents, or acts of terror.
In the face of this evolving risk environment, President Obama issued an Executive Order and Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) in February 2013, underscoring the need for our nation to think broadly about the way we manage critical infrastructure, not just in terms of physical measures but also focusing on security and resilience across these important and often interdependent systems.
Recently, I had the opportunity to host a call with critical infrastructure owners and operators and stakeholders from around the country to discuss a key piece of the PPD. Working collaboratively with our partners from across all levels of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and academia, we have updated the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). NIPP 2013 is based on a set of priorities, developed together through public-private partnerships, integrates cyber and physical security to better protect our nation’s critical infrastructure.
It describes a shared vision in which physical and cyber critical infrastructure remain secure and resilient, while vulnerabilities are reduced, potential impacts are minimized, threats are promptly identified and disrupted, and response and recovery efforts hastened. The goals outlined in NIPP 2013 reflect expected outcomes from a proactive and inclusive partnership among all levels of government and the private and non-profit sectors to leverage existing capabilities and develop new capabilities to strengthen security and resilience by more effectively assessing and managing risks, and enhancing national preparedness.
Members of the critical infrastructure community who participated in helping to craft this important plan are vital partners that have enabled progress toward our shared objective and on which we will continue to rely going forward. Together, our continued commitment and cooperation will be important to reduce risk and ensure the security and resiliency of our nation’s critical infrastructure.
To learn more about the NIPP 2013, visit www.dhs.gov/nipp.