Infrastructure protection has many elements, but the first step is determining what we need to protect. According to William Flynn, director, Protective Security Coordination Division at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), "We know what is important to government, but we have to understand what the interdependencies are." From the data collection angle, infrastructure protection has made quantum leaps, and the ability to analyze the data also has come a long way, he explained.
The SIGNAL Blog
After September 11, 2001, the United States committed to stopping Al Qaeda, and within a year the terrorist organization was operationally frozen. But the fallout from smashing this bureaucratically structured group led to a new franchised version, with the organization now reaching out to other smaller groups and providing training and support.
The biggest challenge the Department of Homeland Security faces is not the technology but governance, according to Margie Graves, the deputy chief information officer there. The department must manage many large and complex components resulting from bringing together 22 agencies, and it is still sorting some of that out. The goal is for central governance with distributed execution. The enterprise solutions that are replacing the stovepiped architecture of the individual agencies are making this possible.
Nearly every homeland security activity begins at the local level, so coordination is imperative between homeland security and law enforcement entities. As a result, all relevant organizations need an intelligence component, including fire departments, public health agencies and private sector entities.
Wounded, ill and injured military members and their families are often in need of financial and medical resources as they recover. The National Resource Directory (NRD) home page provides information on and access to a range of medical and non-medical services and resources.
Representatives from the U.S. Defense Department's homeland defense arm and the U.S. Coast Guard wrapped up Wednesday's dialogues during AFCEA's Homeland Security conference by explaining their contributions to homeland security. While these discussions generally refer to the "Post-9/11 World," this panel focused instead on the "Post-Katrina World" and the improvements that have taken place in communications and coordination.
While AFCEA's Homeland Security conference's first panel focused on issues related to illegal immigrants and customs and border protection, members of Wednesday afternoon's discussion forum explained how uncovering immigration status violations currently is achieved using existing systems.
While Homeland Security conference attendees enjoyed their lunch, a panel of representatives from various government agencies shared their insights about how their organizations support the homeland security effort. Initiatives are underway that will boost protection endeavors by making more information available and easing the information-sharing workload.
Increase in activity mandates technical and process solutions.
Technology, people and information sharing are revolutionizing the way U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) directorate is carrying out its mission. From additional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to sea-search radars to vast increases in the number of personnel carrying out new duties, operational components are collaborating in ways that have never been seen before. These were the conclusions of participants in the first panel at the Homeland Security conference.