This publication and the abstract below was published by Homeland Security in August 2017. ICIT strongly encourages you to visit the Homeland Security Publications Library to search for additional information security resources which are freely available.

Securing Cyber Assets: Addressing Urgent Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure

Today’s cyber attacks are increasingly dangerous and targeted, designed by advanced actors to damage or disrupt critical U.S. infrastructure that deliver vital services—particularly electricity and financial services. Attackers can inflict damage on physical infrastructure by infiltrating the digital systems that control physical processes, damaging specialized equipment and disrupting vital services without a physical attack. As a nation-state cyber attack on U.S. infrastructure places private companies on the front line, this presents a national security challenge unlike any other. It is imperative that Federal and private roles in defending these systems are aligned and mutually supportive.

The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) believes that the Federal Government and private sector collectively have the tremendous cyber capabilities and resources needed to defend critical private systems from aggressive cyber attacks—provided they are properly organized, harnessed, and focused. Today, we’re falling short. Cyber capabilities and oversight are fragmented, and roles and responsibilities remain unclear. We’re simply not organized to keep up with the threat.

Fortunately, we find ourselves in a pre-9/11-level cyber moment, with a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity to coordinate our resources effectively. Our recommendations call on the Administration to use this moment of foresight to take bold, decisive actions—requiring the Federal Government to apply its
collective authorities and capabilities in concert with the private sector.

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