Critical Infrastructure: Challenges Remain in Protecting Key Sectors

Front Cover
DIANE Publishing Inc., 2007 - 26 pages
The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for coordinating a national protection strategy including formation of government & private sector councils as a collaborating tool. The councils, among other things, are to identify their most critical assets, assess the risks they face, & identify protective measures, in sector-specific plans that comply with DHS¿s National Infrastructure Protection Plan. This testimony addresses: (1) the extent to which these councils have been established; (2) key facilitating factors & challenges affecting the formation of the council; (3) key facilitating factors & challenges encountered in developing sector plans; & (4) the status of DHS¿s efforts to fulfill key cybersecurity responsibilities. Charts & tables.

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Page 2 - Act of 2002 and means 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.
Page 21 - ... responsibilities noted in federal law and policy. We also reported that DHS faced a number of challenges that have impeded its ability to fulfill its cyber responsibilities. These challenges included achieving organizational stability, gaining organizational authority, overcoming hiring and contracting issues, increasing awareness of...
Page 23 - ... resources needed to achieve the goals and objectives, (4) a description of the relationship between the long-term goals and objectives and the annual performance goals, (5) an identification of key factors external to the agency and beyond its control that could significantly affect the achievement of the strategic goals, and (6) a description of how program evaluations were used to establish or revise strategic goals and a schedule for future program evaluations.
Page 28 - The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no cost is through GAO's Web site ( Each weekday, GAO posts newly released reports, testimony, and correspondence on its Web site. To have GAO e-mail you a Hat of newly posted products every afternoon, go to and select "Subscribe to Updates.
Page 14 - Act, which serve to inhibit the flow of information from the private sector to government agencies, but also is directly aimed at the type of advisory board which is contemplated in the present study. As one court has noted, the very purpose of FACA is "to open to public scrutiny the manner in which government agencies obtain advice from private individuals.
Page 9 - Includes prominent commercial centers, office buildings, sports stadiums, theme parks, and other sites where large numbers of people congregate to pursue business activities, conduct personal commercial transactions, or enjoy recreational pastimes.
Page 9 - Energy Provides the electric power used by all sectors, including critical infrastructures, and the refining, storage, and distribution of oil and gas. The sector is divided into electricity and oil and natural gas. Department of...
Page 7 - Page 18B • serving as the focal point for security of cyberspace, including analysis, warning, information sharing, vulnerability reduction, mitigation, and recovery efforts for critical infrastructure information systems. To ensure the coverage of critical sectors, HSPD-7 designated sectorspecific agencies for the critical infrastructure sectors identified in the National Strategy for Homeland Security (see table 18).
Page 15 - We reported then that the ability to share security-related information is critical and necessary because it can unify the efforts of federal, state, and local government agencies and the private sector in preventing or minimizing terrorist attacks. In April 2006, we reported that DHS continued to face challenges that impeded the private sector's willingness to share sensitive security information with the government.

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