What is InfraGard?
Collaboration for National Infrastructure Protection
From drinking water supplies to communications systems, chemical production processes to agricultural resources, Americans depend on a select group of critical infrastructures to sustain our way of life. Any attempts to harm or destroy these resources would directly impact the security of the United States and its citizens.
Most of these systems and services are owned and operated by private industry. Therefore, the protection of our nation’s infrastructure cannot be accomplished by the federal government alone. It requires coordinated action from numerous stakeholders – including government, the private sector, law enforcement, academia and concerned citizens.
InfraGard is a public-private volunteer organization that serves as the critical link that forms a tightly knit working relationship across all levels.
Each InfraGard chapter is geographically linked with a FBI Field Office, providing all stakeholders immediate access to experts from law enforcement, industry, academic institutions and other federal, state and local government agencies. By utilizing the talents and expertise of the InfraGard network, information is shared to mitigate threats to our nation’s critical infrastructures and key resources.
Collaboration and communication are the keys to protection. Providing timely and accurate information to those responsible for safeguarding our critical infrastructures, even at a local level, is paramount in the fight to protect the United States and its resources.
Who is InfraGard?
Subject Matter Experts
At its core, InfraGard’s strength and effectiveness is based upon the subject matter expertise of its trusted membership.
An InfraGard member is a private-sector volunteer with an inherent concern for national security. Driven to protect their own industry and further motivated to share their professional and personal knowledge to safeguard the country, InfraGard members connect to a national network of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), communicate with federal law enforcement and government agencies through their local InfraGard chapters, and contribute to the security and protection of our national infrastructure from threats and attacks.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of InfraGard is to promote ongoing dialogue and timely communication between members and the FBI. InfraGard members gain access to information that enables them to protect their assets and in turn give information to government that facilitates its responsibilities to prevent and address terrorism and crimes. The relationship supports information sharing at national and local levels and its objectives are as follows:
- Increase the level of information and reporting between InfraGard members and the FBI on matters related to counterterrorism, cyber crime and other major crime programs.
- Increase interaction and information sharing among InfraGard members and the FBI regarding threats to the critical infrastructures, vulnerabilities, and interdependencies.
- Provide members value-added threat advisories, alerts and warnings.
- Promote effective liaison with local, state and federal agencies, to include the Department of Homeland Security.
- Provide members a forum for education and training on counterterrorism, counterintelligence cyber crime and other matters relevant to informed reporting of potential crimes and attacks on the nation and U.S. interests.
InfraGard is a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) program that began in the Cleveland Field Office in 1996. It was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI’s investigative efforts in the cyber arena. The program expanded to other FBI Field Offices, and in 1998 the FBI assigned national program responsibility for InfraGard to the former National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and to the Cyber Division in 2003. InfraGard and the FBI have developed a relationship of trust and credibility in exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal and security matters.