Photo courtesy of DHS

Just a reminder — the month of December is recognized in the U.S. as “National Critical Infrastructure Protection Month”.

For those readers who are not quite sure of the significance of this declaration, or how it relates to them in their place of work, their community or where they live, it would be helpful to read the information on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) website  to learn exactly what critical infrastructure is, what each of us can do to assist its protection as a shared responsibility, and, finally which industry sectors are most directly affected by this effort.

A quick summary of some of that information is:

  1. Definition of Critical Infrastructure:  “… a summation of all the assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”
  2. Why is Critical Infrastructure Important
    1. Attacks on critical infrastructure could significantly disrupt the functioning of government and business alike and produce cascading effects far beyond the targeted sector and physical location of the incident.
    2. Direct terrorist attacks and natural, manmade, or technological hazards could produce catastrophic losses in terms of human casualties, property destruction, and economic effects, as well as profound damage to public morale and confidence.
    3. Attacks using components of the nation’s critical infrastructure as weapons of mass destruction could have even more devastating physical and psychological consequences, and
  3. What are the critical infrastructure sectors of the U.S. (in alphabetical order with links attached to provide more details and information)?

                     a.    Agriculture and Food

                     b.    Banking and Finance

                     c.    Chemical

                     d.    Commercial Facilities

                     e.    Communications

                     f.     Critical Manufacturing

                     g.    Dams

                     h.    Defense Industrial Base

                     i.      Emergency Services

                     j.      Energy

                     k.    Government Facilities

                     l.     Healthcare and Public Health

                    m.   Information Technology

                     n.    National Monuments and Icons

                     o.    Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste

                     p.    Postal and Shipping

                     q.    Transportation Systems

                     r.     Water

As just this short summary above indicates, this listing of industry sectors surely includes almost every aspect of commercial, industrial and community dynamics important to each and every U.S. citizen.

To protect these sectors we must also recognize that an informed and engaged public is another important line of defense to build resilient communities. 

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign continues to educate the American public on the behaviors and indicators of suspicious activity and encourages all Americans to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement – all certainly in support of this National Critical Infrastructure Protection Month.

Click here  for more details and information.

If you found this information valuable, please pass it along to those business continuity, risk management, disaster preparedness or community first responder teams where you work and where you live.

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