A specific opportunity for Homeland Security that I will suggest being changed within the organization is Communication. DHS should manage information sharing and public disclosures of intelligence between federal and local entities through a leading role that would be important to the public. Information shared within a well-structured and secure environment helps critical infrastructure owners take complete control of investment. Additionally, it helps them execute protective programs and ensure an effective response to possible and real threats as they arise.
Public-private alliances are the foundation for functional critical infrastructure security and elastic strategies, and timely sharing of reliable information among stakeholders is vital to the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure. For this strategy to be effective, there is a need to enforce the four essential components of homeland security architecture (Lewis, 2019). The four essential components include the National Network of Fusion Centers, the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, the National Terrorism Advisory System, and the ‘if you see something, say something campaign.
In order to facilitate effective sharing of information, homeland security should enable state and local government’s efforts to gather, analyze and share information. Secondly, homeland security should operate in a manner that safeguards privacy and legal rights regarding the information shared (Morag, 2018). Additionally, homeland security should enable effective coordination so that vital and time-sensitive information about possible threats gets into responsible hands to protect our nation’s infrastructure. With these command structures, homeland security can emerge with enough power to enforce the local government efforts related to shared information.
Although sharing critical infrastructure information is beneficial, various risks make information sharing challenges. The risks include increased exposure to attacks on critical information systems and the uncertified release of the information shared by a critical infrastructure establishment. Critical infrastructure information sharing, while instrumental, can also increase the exposure to an attack. Connecting all the infrastructure systems increase the risk of a possible attack. Information shared between various units can raise the probability of a terrorist group accessing and utilizing it to mushroom the effect and invasiveness of the strike.
The improved technological expertise of terrorists due to significant access to more affordable technology makes the strike on critical infrastructure systems a severe threat. Terrorists launch not only attacks on physical structures but also the cyber systems in those structures. Moreover, terrorists execute swarming attacks using different methods so as to increase the effects. These technologically sophisticated attacks are often brutal to respond to, resulting in massive damages. Consequently, the homeland security department is advancing to match this sophistication and apply different countering measures.
The concept of originator control, used by the stakeholders sharing information, can be a barrier to dispensing information. The concept works on the principle that confidential information is prohibited unless authorized by the provider. Organizations and other establishments can use this principle to ensure that any crucial information to the DHS remains secret. The major problem characteristic of this concept is approaching information that requires an immediate response. Critical information entities have to wait for initial approval before accessing information that could protect their assets.
Keeping our homeland and infrastructure secure is vital and calls for joint efforts from every entity. All information regarding national security is essential. Therefore, it should be shared through the appropriate channels to secure all organizations and the nation as a whole.
Morag, N. (2018). Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons. John Wiley & Sons.
Lewis, T. G. (2019). Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation. John Wiley & Sons.