Critical Infrastructure Protection
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According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Infrastructure
Protection Plan (NIPP), critical infrastructure is defined as "assets,
systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States
that the incapacity or destruction of such assets, systems or networks would
have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, public
health or safety, or any combination of those matters."
In an effort to secure the nation's critical infrastructure, DHS has
charged each state with developing a list of its critical infrastructure and
key resources. In Virginia, the responsible entity is the Governor's
Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security. As such Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security is working with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia State Police (VSP) and other local, state federal and private partners to identify, prioritize, assess and protect Virginia's critical infrastructure and key resources.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new Web site designed to provide stakeholders and the public with easily accessible information about their role in safeguarding critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR). The website features a link to the new CI/KR Resource Center, which includes information about how to sign up for free Web-based seminars on the tools, trends, issues, and best practices for infrastructure protection and resilience; resources concerning potential vulnerabilities for chemical facilities; and details about the National Response Framework, which outlines guidance for all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified response to disasters and emergencies. Visit the new site at www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure.
Developing Protection and Resiliency
OCP uses several methods to accomplish this important task. The Secure Commonwealth Panel's Critical Infrastructure Sub-panel meets regularly to discuss infrastructure issues throughout the Commonwealth. They have developed Virginia's Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resiliency Strategy Plan (the VA Plan); in keeping with DHS's National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and other pertinent documents and practices. In addition, Virginia also supports regional resiliency projects funded by DHS grants; and serves on the advisory working group for the National Capitol Region.
Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources Programs
The VA Plan – Supports the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) by establishing a coordinated approach to national priorities, goals, and requirements for critical infrastructure and key resources protection. Requires the development of Sector Specific Plans (SSPs) to provide the means by which the NIPP is implemented across all critical infrastructure and key resources sectors, as well as a national framework for each sector to address its unique characteristics and risk landscape.
DHS Automated Critical Asset Management System (ACAMS) –A Web-enabled information services portal that helps state and local governments build critical infrastructure/key resource (CI/KR) protection programs. ACAMS provides a set of tools and resources that help law enforcement, public safety and emergency response personnel collect and use CI/KR asset data, assess CI/KR asset vulnerabilities, develop all-hazards incident response and recovery plans, and builds public/private partnerships. Using ACAMS also provides state and local jurisdictions with a practical way to implement the NIPP through engagement of private sector CI/KR stakeholders.
Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) - Improve the Nation’s capability to detect and report unauthorized attempts to import, possess, store, develop, or transport nuclear or radiological material for use against the Nation.
Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) - Builds security and risk-management capabilities at the State and local level to secure pre-designated Tier I and Tier II critical infrastructure sites, including chemical facilities, financial institutions, nuclear and electric power plants, dams, stadiums, and other high-risk/high-consequence facilities.
First Responder Authentication Credential (FRAC) Program - A smart card identity system for emergency responders. These interoperable smart cards allow federal, state, local and private sector emergency responders the ability to quickly and easily gain access to an all hazards event across jurisdictions. The FRAC Program expedites response and recovery efforts through facilitating more efficient adjudication of identity and credentials and enhances the protection of emergency responders and CI/KR from unauthorized access during an all hazards event.
Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) - An information-protection program that enhances information sharing between the private sector and the government. The Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state and local analysts use PCII to analyze and secure critical infrastructure and protected systems, identify vulnerabilities and develop risk assessments, and to enhance recovery preparedness measures.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security will continue its work with our partners in local, state, federal and private sector entities to refine Virginia's critical infrastructure protection and resiliency process.