Critical Infrastructure (HSPD 7):
Terrorists always look for ways to threaten our national security, weaken the economy, and damage public morale and confidence by trying to destroy critical infrastructure and key resources of the country. In order to protect these critical infrastructures, the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7(HSPD 7) established a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize critical infrastructure and to protect them from terrorist attacks. It also defines the directives and roles federal, state, and local agencies will play in carrying them out.
Technological critical infrastructure and key resources are both physical and cyber-based and can be found in all sectors of the economy. Some are owned and operated by states and local governments, while the majority is privately owned. These are all potential targets for terrorist and need to be protected because destruction by terrorists could cause catastrophic health effects or mass casualties that could have a debilitating effect on security and economic well-being of the country.
Due to the unique characteristics and different operating models of each infrastructure sector, designated Sector-Specific Agencies (SSAs) have the responsibility for coordinating the overall national effort to enhance the protection of their critical infrastructure and key resources in the country. They include the Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of the Treasury, Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense.
There is no complete and total guarantee of eliminating the vulnerabilities of a potential terrorist attack on our critical infrastructure, but strategic improvements in security can make it less vulnerable and more difficult for attacks to succeed which can greatly reduce the impact of attacks by terrorists. Strategic and tactical security improvements are therefore aimed at deterring, mitigating, or neutralizing potential attacks.
DHS. (2015, September 22). Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection. Retrieved October 4, 2017, from https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-presidential-directive-7