The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal government’s efforts to secure our nation’s critical infrastructure by working with owners and operators to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and respond to threats. To address threats to our nation from cyber-attacks, natural disasters, or the actions of others that could disrupt our power, water, communications and other critical systems, the President issued PPD-21 (Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience).
The policies within PPD-21 link both cyber and physical security information sharing between the National Cyber Security Communications and Integrations Center (NCCIC) and the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC) to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. government’s work to secure critical infrastructure and make it more resilient. These centers, along with an integrated analysis function, build situational awareness across critical infrastructure sectors based on partner input, and provide information with greater depth, breadth, and context than information from any individual partner or sector.
PPD-21 highlights the importance of these centers and the multidirectional information sharing that enables them to build true situational awareness. “The success of these national centers, including the integration and analysis function, is dependent on the quality and timeliness of the information and intelligence they receive from the Sector-Specific Agencies (SSAs) and other Federal departments and agencies, as well as from critical infrastructure owners and operators and State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) entities.” Critical infrastructure owners and operators receive information directly from the centers, but also frequently receive information through their respective SSAs, or other parties such as regional consortia, ISACs, fusion centers, etc.