FBI, DHS, and InfraGard: Partnering For a Shared Protection Mission

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the InfraGard National Members Alliance are working to expand private sector participation as part of a full-spectrum partnership to protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR).

“The FBI and the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection have a long-standing relationship and complementary missions that encompass the entire risk reduction spectrum,” Todd M. Keil, Assistant Secretary for the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection, said.  “The full-spectrum partnership with the FBI’s InfraGard program provides a solid foundation for moving ahead and increasing capabilities to implement our shared protection goals across the Nation.”

To stimulate this partnership, DHS is contributing resources to InfraGard to build CIKR awareness, enhance information-sharing, and provide education programs for private sector owners and operators at local and regional levels. The effort also willentify best practices for enhancing private sector involvement in protection and resilience activities and translate the National Infrastructure Protection Plan NIPP framework for effective application at the local level.

“The primary private sector partner is the InfraGard National Members Alliance, which oversees and provides guidance to the 86 local member alliances representing more than 36,000 InfraGard members nationwide,” FBI Cyber Division Deputy Assistant Director Steven Chabinsky said.

Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, Chairman of the INMA, added “This effort will create new channels to disseminate cross-sector information and expand contacts and partnerships for CIKR coordination at the local level.  It will help critical infrastructure owners and operators get to know their Federal and local partners and provide them with recommendations on how to participate in information-sharing activities, engage in planning and protective programs, and report incidents or suspicious activities.”

“We are proud to expand our work with the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection,” Chabinsky said.  “Ensuring that our private sector partners are fully engaged and helping to implement a unified approach to infrastructure protection and resilience.”

A prime example of the ongoing collaboration between the FBI and the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection is the coordination that takes place at State and local levels between the FBI and DHS Protective Security Advisors (PSAs).  PSAs frequently coordinate with InfraGard, Joint Terrorism Task Forces, and Field Intelligence Groups.  FBI Agents work with PSAs on CIKR site assistance visits and assessments of critical infrastructure sites.  Other collaborative efforts include FBI components working with various DHS components on such activities as bombing prevention awareness, training and site assistance visits programs.

The FBI is a NIPP signatory and member of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council, through which CIKR owners and operators collaborate with Federal, regional, State, and local governments on national CIKR protection and resilience plans and programs. 

Learn more about InfraGard: http://www.infragard.net/

Learn more about the Office of Infrastructure Protection and the NIPP: www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure