09 August 2005

US National Security: Critical Infrastructure Protection...

Now that InfraGard has a Memorandum of Understanding with DHS, only time will tell what impact the new formalized relationship will have on national preparedness.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 8, 2005--InfraGard National Members Alliance (INMA) today announced it has struck an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Private Sector Office (PSO) regarding a Strategic Partnership. The announcement was made at the 2005 "InfraGard Congress," InfraGard's annual business meeting, which is taking place today at the JW Marriott in Washington D.C.

The purpose of the MOU between InfraGard and DHS is to outline the objectives of a Strategic Partnership between the two parties, as well as their related roles and responsibilities. A Strategic Partnership between InfraGard and DHS will provide both organizations with the opportunity to develop and cultivate existing relationships between the government and the private sector in an effort to engage private sector subject matter experts for the protection of our nation's critical infrastructure.

"InfraGard highly values its MOU with DHS, and is looking forward to engaging our local members with DHS leadership to identify issues and develop programs to address them," said Dr. Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the Board of Directors, InfraGard National Members Alliance. "DHS has expressed interest in InfraGard's success in engaging subject matter experts in all 50 states across all 14 critical infrastructure sectors to build trusted relationships with Federal, state and local law enforcement and government agencies. Additionally, the relationship between DHS and InfraGard is critical as our membership grows to serve as the primary liaison between private sector and all areas of government and law enforcement."

The joining of forces between InfraGard and DHS will enable both organizations to raise security awareness more effectively in communities across the country. Through National and local events coordinated by InfraGard across its 84 chapters, DHS leadership will have a forum to better inform the business community about homeland security programs and initiatives. In turn, the private sector will have a channel via InfraGard to communicate its issues to DHS, and also provide direct feedback about DHS initiatives.

FBI Director Mueller's keynote is another indicator that public / private cooperation is essential to the government in order to protect our vital national assets.

"Director Mueller's participation in the InfraGard 2005 National Conference is proof positive of the significant role InfraGard has played in National security. Furthermore, thanks in large part to InfraGard's vision and dedication, law enforcement agencies across local, state and Federal levels actively are and will continue to work together to secure the United States from threats to its critical infrastructure."

In addition to Mueller's keynote at the InfraGard 2005 National Conference there also will be tracks and technical sessions dedicated to the following topics: Drinking Water Security; Maritime and Port Vulnerabilities and Security; Computer Forensics; Cyber Security; First Responders; Financial Institution Security; Regulatory Compliance; and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems.

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